The Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners have welcomed the announcement of   £80 million in inward investment funds for NI’s biggest renewable energy plant, which will be built at their Foyle Port facility at Lisahally for Evermore Renewable Energy.

Evermore have released details of the construction of a 15.8MWe (Mega Watts electricity) biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant on the 10 acre Foyle Port site, which will be fuelled by waste wood.

The Evermore project is expected to become operational in Summer 2015, increasing the amount of renewable energy currently generated in Northern Ireland by approximately 10%. Over the expected 20 year lifetime of the plant, it will achieve a reduction of 1.2 million tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions, and the project will create 200 construction and 18 full time jobs.

Port Chairman Garvan O’Doherty says the location of the plant at the Foyle Port facility “is a major endorsement of our ability to deliver large scale projects for the Region.  It is also a validation of the Commissioners’ decision, some years ago, to invest heavily in Port fixed assets and broaden our range of activities.”

Evermore directors Ciaran and Stephen Devine, who raised the funding for the project, say it marks a step-change in Northern Ireland’s energy consumption habits.  “This will play a significant role in the strategy to divert waste from landfill and to generate renewable energy,” says Ciaran Devine.  “The plant will be the biggest renewable energy project in existence in Northern Ireland and represents a significant strategic investment for the region.”

Port Chief Executive Brian McGrath also welcomed the development. “Over the last few years the Londonderry Harbour Commissioners have invested over £25 million in the port’s fixed assets and expanded land bank. The selection of Foyle Port as the home for this landmark development is further evidence of our strategic importance to the North West’s infrastructure”.

Construction is expected to commence in the autumn.

The Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners are the Conservancy Authority for Lough Foyle between the Harbour limits from Craigavon Bridge to a line between Magilligan Point and Greencastle. The Commissioners were constituted by the Londonderry Harbour Act and Order in 1854.  Foyle Port is responsible for the day-to-day management of marine and shipping operations on behalf of Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners.

The Port is a major economic driver for the region and handles over £1 billion worth of commodities per annum with over 1000 associated indirect jobs.  The Commissioners continue to seek opportunities to further expand the industrial and economic base in the North West.