Co Tyrone company runs 12 RHI boilers to dry wood

The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme could cost taxpayers £490 million

A BUSINESS in Co Tyrone was set up with 12 biomass boilers under the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, it has been reported.

Eco Biomass (NI) Ltd was established by Dungannon businessman Tom Spence on September 1 2015 at the height of applications to the botched scheme, the Ulster Herald reported.

The business dries woodchips at a warehouse at Kildress, off the main Omagh to Cookstown road.

A total of 12 boilers are used, including some which supply other boilers.

The company sources wood grown in the north, chips logs, and dries the wood using the boilers. The dried chips are then sold.

There is no suggestion the business is involved in any illegal activities.

Mr Spence told the Ulster Herald: "We're a legitimate business providing to power stations and other farmers and other local people, but the bulk of it is not going to other burners".

The 65-year-old businessman said he was concerned at being "criminalised" and accused the media of "scaremongering" over its coverage of the £490 million scandal.

"We simply availed of the opportunity that was there and presented to us," he said.

"There is nothing illegal about that, there's certainly nothing to be demonised or criminalised about.

Mr Spence is among many non-domestic RHI recipients who have formed a group to fight against economy minister Simon Hamilton's plans to cut their payments.

"I am signed up to an organisation which will be challenging most things to do with it," he said.

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