Energy Company's Success Could Spark off 200 Jobs; We Currently Employ Six People but We Are Planning a Major Expansion Next Year Which Will Create 110 New Jobs and We Plan Further Expansion over the Next Three Years to Bring the Workforce Up to 200; Debra Jenkins, B9 Energy Biomass Managing Director

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A LONDONDERRY company set up six years ago to promote the use of renewable energy yesterday announced that it has become so successful it plans to provide 200 new jobs.

Debra Jenkins, managing director of B9 Energy Biomass, which is based at the Northland Road Industrial Estate, said that it is currently talking to Ledu about its expansion plans.

Debra said: "We currently employ six people but we are planning a major expansion next year which will create 110 new jobs and we plan further expansion over the next three years to bring the workforce up to 200.''

The Londonderry company spotted the market opportunity for renewable energy in Northern Ireland six years ago and saw its plans as part of the international commitment to reduce carbon dioxide levels.

``We tendered for energy generating contracts and won one and then we went through the phase of securing the type of technology we need to build the generating plant which is novel to Northern Ireland. The innovative technology we developed is based on research carried out by B9 and our Swedish research partners.

"With the help of Ledu we managed to set up a joint venture agreement with the Swedish Government's Research Institute and this facilitated our product development work.

``Our business has now developed into selling energy conversion technology for the renewable energy sector,'' said Debra.

B9 Energy Biomass has just won a contract from the Peabody Trust, London's biggest housing association, which is building a new sustainable housing and workplace development featuring energy efficient building design and green transport.

Debra said: ``We are supplying all their heat and electricity needs from wood fuelled CHP (Combined Heat and Power) units manufactured locally. …