Invest Northern Ireland has helped Belfast company Walker Eurosalt to cut its energy costs and reduce its environmental impact, by funding an interest free Carbon Trust loan of £188,000.
Walker Eurosalt processes and distributes salt, primarily for animal feeds, animal hide curing, water treatment and de-icing of roads and paths. The energy efficiency loan enabled the company to install state of the art salt drying equipment which has boosted output by 50 per cent.
The new machinery has enabled the company to reduce production costs by 25 per cent, while cutting its carbon output by over 50 tonnes per year. The firm has also dramatically reduced emissions of harmful salt particles generated in the treatment process.
The Carbon Trust is a UK-wide organisation, funded locally by Invest NI, which helps companies in Northern Ireland to become more competitive through energy efficiency.
Stephen McCann, Operations Manager of Walker Eurosalt, is pleased with the benefits the investment has brought: “We are always focussed on identifying cost savings, with energy being one of our primary overheads. It became clear that converting to more energy efficient machinery would deliver significant cost reductions, while also helping us to lessen our impact on the environment.
“Invest NI funded an Energy Efficiency survey which highlighted specific ways in which we could reduce our energy usage. A significant investment was required in order to install the new production machinery, but the energy efficiency loan from Invest NI and the Carbon Trust was a great help.”
“With environmental regulations tightening all the time, and the UK market becoming ever more competitive, the improvements to our business made possible by the interest free loan are crucial to our sustainability going forward,” added Mr McCann.
Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Technology and Process Development, said: “Local firms can significantly reduce their overheads and improve their profitability by becoming more energy efficient. Invest NI offers practical advice and guidance on energy issues and, where possible, can facilitate a Carbon Trust Energy Efficiency loan to help companies achieve this.
“The initiative now offers loans of up to £400,000, which can be of huge assistance to companies that wish to make the investment required to convert to more efficient and environmentally friendly methods.”