Biomass scheme developer awarded government loan

A Shetland marine company has been awarded a share of a £2.5 million government loan to help develop district heating, cutting fuel bills and carbon emissions in the process.

North Fish is borrowing £220,000 for a proposed 195kW wood fuelled biomass scheme near Brae.

The scheme, which will use wooden pellets, will connect to both the leisure and medical centres in the area.

North Fish also hopes to expand the network to the care home and the school and, potentially, residential areas.

Meanwhile the company is in line for a further £150,000 to develop another biomass project at its operating base in Lerwick’s Blackhill Industrial Estate. The system will initially connect its base with one other industrial customer, although there is scope to expand the network to other businesses at a later date.

North Fish is one of 10 organisations to have been awarded money under the Scottish government scheme.

The announcement was made today by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing as he visited a project in Comrie.

The Scottish government aims to have 11 per cent of heat coming from renewable sources by 2020.

Mr Ewing said: “This government is committed to supporting the development of low carbon district heating networks in Scotland, helping homes and businesses stay warm with minimum impact on the environment, creating jobs while bringing heating bills down.

“The high start up costs involved can mean schemes fail to get off the ground because commercial finance isn’t available.  By offering these loans we are helping communities to help themselves, developing affordable, green and locally produced heat.”

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