New jobs and new clean power generation units at Ruthin Biomass Energy Company

Newbridge Energy will be doubling the size of its workforce and installing three biomass generating units in North Wales after a multi-million pound investment from the independent energy and environmental investment company, Iona Capital. It is Iona Capital’s third clean energy investment in North Wales, following its investments in biogas projects at St Asaph and Llwyn Isaf, near Caenarfon. Newbridge Energy will increase its workforce to 48 people over the next six months. The three new wood-chip biomass CHP plants at Ruthin will generate a combined output of 3MWe of renewable electricity and 12MWh of reusable heat and are set to enter operation before the end of the year (2016). The units will qualify for ROCs and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) under the UK Government’s tariff support mechanism for renewable power and heat. Newbridge Energy is managed by Phil Wildbur and Darren Davies who originally acquired the business in 2014 and remain significant shareholders in the company. Newbridge’s main operating subsidiary, Blazer Fuels, is based at Ruthin and processes approximately 20,000 tonnes of virgin wood offcuts each year into premium wood fuel pellets and other products. The plant is located adjacent to a fence post manufacturing plant which supplies the majority of its wood offcuts under a long term supply agreement. Phil Wildbur, Director of Newbridge Energy said: “Iona Capital’s investment provides us with the catalyst and the confidence to invest and grow our business. Newbridge Energy is now well positioned to expand its biomass operations throughout North Wales and become one of the leading biomass and wood chip producers in the area.” Nick Ross, joint managing director of Iona Capital said: “Our investment in Newbridge Energy is another example of private infrastructure funds investing on a sustainable green agenda whilst promoting entrepreneurial businesses. It is Iona Capital’s third clean energy investment in North Wales. Over the past five years, Iona has financed over 20 renewable energy projects in Wales, Scotland and England, all of which supply energy and/or heat to the local grid networks. Creating a sustainable energy sector is a top priority for the UK and Iona’ s biomass projects provide attractive commercial returns to our investors – predominantly local authority pension funds, as well as long term social and economic benefits to local communities.”