Northern Ireland news

Company drying woodchip in Fermanagh has received £300k from RHI

A business using six boilers to heat a shed and dry woodchips has received more than £300,000 in RHI subsidies
Gareth McKeown

THE business whose woodchip-drying operation in Co Fermanagh was pictured by The Irish News earlier this year has received more than £300,000 in RHI subsidies.

Valley Services (NI) was paid £305,629.59 for six biomass boilers between October 26 2015 and February 28 this year.

The boilers are located in an Enniskillen industrial estate, but the company has a registered office address in Ballymena.

On Companies House the nature of business is described as 'management consultancy activities other than financial management'.

Director Joshua Mulholland could not be reached for comment yesterday.

RHI: A special Irish News investigation

Speaking in January, he said the boilers replaced an oil-fired system and were used to heat a shed and dry woodchips for an “industrial process”.

“Would we consider what we’re doing abuse of the scheme? I would say not. It’s a money-saving exercise for us – our oil bill before we put these in would have been almost £3,000 a month so we eliminated that entirely.

“The boilers are a significant investment and if we weren’t in receipt of the subsidy it would be more cost-efficient to be running on oil. I wouldn’t say we’re abusing it, definitely not."

Meanwhile, another Fermanagh business whose shed containing eight biomass boilers was destroyed in a fire has received more than £170,000 in subsidies.

It is understood that Corby Biomass Systems, set up in October 2015, also used the shed at a site in Magheradunbar outside Enniskillen to dry woodchips.

On the morning of January 6 the boilers and roughly 14 tonnes of woodchip were destroyed in a blaze, which fire officers said was being treated as accidental.

Corby Biomass Systems has two directors, Padraig and Ronan Corby from Co Leitrim.

The business is described as the “manufacture of other products of wood; manufacture of articles of cork, straw and plaiting materials”.

The company could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Northern Ireland news

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: