Co Derry jobs boost announced by biofuel firm working with NASA

A biofuel company working with NASA has announced plans to open a £9 million Co Derry plant on a landfill site creating at least 20 new jobs next year.

Renovare Fuels say the first of its kind UK and EU operation in Craigmore will create up to two million litres of sustainable fuel to replace diesel and petrol aviation fuel without the need for engine modifications, from gases trapped in the waste.

The jobs are expected to be created during construction of the facility as well as several long-term engineering positions with potential to scale up in future.

Read more: The Earth’s Corr: Fossil fuel isn’t just energy it’s power & that’s the problem

The plant will be built on top of an existing landfill site and uses the biogas trapped underground to create usable liquid fuels.

Renovare Fuels says the project will boost Northern Ireland’s role in the transport sector’s transition to net zero. It will be working alongside leading Northern Ireland renewable energy operator, B9 Energy Control Limited, and leading UK biogas experts Powerhouse Management Ltd on the project.

Last year, a quarter of all UK emissions came from the transport sector but the firms says this new ‘green’ fuel alternative produced using patented technology could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 97%, helping hard-to-reach sectors such as aviation, maritime and road haulage on their journey to net zero.

The fuel was first developed in the USA in collaboration with sister company T2C Energy, NASA and the US Department of Energy and is set to qualify for extra support under the Department for Transport’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation.

Government estimates suggest the 32 million tonnes of biodegradable waste generated annually in the UK are enough to produce more than two billion litres of biofuels per year and significantly cut emissions.

Renovare Fuels says it will supply UK-based fuel distributors and multinational petrochemical and airline companies.

The company’s chair Matthew Stone said: “Renovare Fuels is delighted to be commencing operations in Northern Ireland. This crucial investment will ensure we play a leading role in creating a sustainable future for the transport sector.

“As we work to meet our global climate goals, we have an exciting opportunity to scale up the UK’s production of renewable fuels, producing more than 1.8 million litres per year in Northern Ireland to support the industries that face the largest barriers to the net zero transition.”

Ian Harvey, B9 Energy Control Ltd founder, added: “We’re proud to be supporting Renovare Fuels’ landmark investment today, which paves the way for Northern Ireland to play an important role in supporting businesses transition to net-zero.

“The new operations in County Derry present an opportune moment to kickstart a sustainable fuels drive across the UK. We look forward to continuing to support this development in the new year.”

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