20m project in jeopardy

Thursday, 22 December 2016

THE future of a 20m renewable energy project creating up to 100 jobs in Cloughmills is in jeopardy as a result of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme crisis.
Mr Barney McGuckian of A.A. McGuckian Ltd has revealed that after investing over 500,000 in the project, he is still waiting for the Department of the Economy (DE) to confirm his RHI tariff.
This is the amount per kWh (Kilowatt Hour) that they will pay him for the energy he produces under the RHI scheme, which could be as much as 3m annually over the 20 years.
Mr McGuckian was granted full planning permission last March to build the biggest plant of its kind in NI, producing 60,000 tonnes of wood pellets annually at his property on Drumbare Road.
He is keen to begin construction, but cannot, as he said: "I've a 20m project waiting to go. If I was in England, Scotland or Wales the plant would already be in the process of being built.
“I have the funding at my hand but the DE haven't confirmed the tariff. One letter is all it takes saying that we've a tariff of 3.5pence (per KWh) and we'd be ready to go. In GB it's 4.2p," he said.
“I have been working on this for 2.5 years, I have spent over 500,000 on it. 90% of the wood pellets used in NI come from Eastern Europe, we would be creating local employment, using local wood, here and from Scotland brought through the harbour in Coleraine. This tariff gets us over the line, job creation will pay for any RHI money we get."


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