GIB’s investment comes as part of a joint venture with Full Circle Generation, developer RiverRidge Energy Limited, Equitix and P3P Partners. The construction of the plant will allow for an annual generation capacity of 61GWh, enough renewable energy to power 14,500 homes.

Jonathan Bell, minister of enterprise, trade and investment at the Northern Ireland Assembly, said: “This multi-million pound project is hugely significant, not just for Belfast, but for the Northern Ireland economy as a whole as it will create hundreds of jobs and protect many more.

“As well as creating 250 construction jobs and 20 full-time posts once the facility is operational, it will also provide a competitive energy source for Bombardier, which is our largest manufacturing employer.”

The EfW project is expected to be fully operational by late 2017. It will be fuelled by feedstock derived of commercial and household waste, with a long-term feedstock contact in place with Pioneer Fuels to provide a continuous source of waste products.

UK Green Investment Bank chief executive Shaun Kingsbury said: “Northern Ireland was the location of one of GIB’s earliest investments and it gives us great pleasure to announce another important commitment to the country’s green infrastructure network.

“The plant will generate cleaner, greener electricity that can be used to the benefit of local employers while helping local authorities and businesses meet waste reduction targets.”

Solar-powered Assembly

The plant forms part of a renewable incentive push for Northern Ireland. Last year, GIB announced £6.5m of funding for two on-farm anaerobic digestion (AD) plants in Northern Ireland that would generate enough renewable energy to power 1,700 households for a year and the reduction in greenhouse gasses will be the equivalent to taking 2,000 cars off the road.

And just last week it was announced that The Northern Ireland Assembly had installed solar PV system on the roof at the Stormont Parliament Buildings saving around £9,000 per year. Local installers will mount 400 thin-film modules, which cannot be seen from the ground, between April and July this year. It is expected to generate around 40,000kWh of electricity annually.

Earlier this year, Northern Ireland’s renewable energy industry received a boost in the form of a fully-funded solar solution which could save businesses up to £320m. Kingspan ESB – a joint venture between building technology firm Kingspan and Ireland’s largest energy company ESB – made photovoltaic (PV) energy available to businesses without the investment normally required in the capital outlay, installation or maintenance of a PV system.

Matt Mace

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