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Businesses claim over 660,000 under RHI scheme across district

Thursday, 23 March 2017

TWELVE Strabane and district-based businesses have been named as recipients of subsidies under the controversial Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme - claiming over 660,000 between them.

The list of names of recipients was published by the Department for the Economy on Thursday and includes the names of all limited companies and limited liability partnerships that have received payments under the botched scheme above a threshold of 5,000.

The information includes the business name, date of application, company location by postcode, the capacity of the boiler installed and the total payments received by applicants as of February 28 this year.

The application of a threshold and the publication of the list is carried out in line with the judgment issued in the High Court on March 1.

The department says work is progressing on a separate list which will contain the names of the individuals who are in receipt of payments of 5,000 or more under the non-domestic scheme.

"It is our intention to publish that list in the next few weeks once we have considered the individual cases in line with the content of the High Court judgement," a spokesperson said.

There is no suggestion that any of the companies listed have acted illegally or improperly by signing up to the scheme.

In all, there are a total of 22 boilers availing of the scheme across the Strabane and Castlederg areas with a total 660,853.91 paid to businesses within the BT82 and BT81 post code areas.

The majority of the boilers and claimants are located in the BT82 postal area where there are 19 boilers installed. Payments totalling 609,404.27 have been made to nine companies.

Among the highest paid of the listed recipients in this area are Peacock Farm Poultry Ltd which has received almost 274,717.12 from running five boilers, Green Biomass Ltd; 196,804.93 for two boilers, the Fir Trees Hotel; 46,659.69 for one boiler and O'Neill's Irish International Sportswear Ltd which received 32,668.55 for its six boilers.

Elsewhere, five other Strabane-based businesses were paid in relation to single boilers. They are Holyhill District Heating System (18,110.26), Greg Mitchell Motors Ltd (14.897.77), Linton Environmental Ltd (12,568.75), Patterson Caravans Ltd (7,294.25) and W & A Nixon and Sons Ltd (5,682.95).

In the BT81 postal area, three companies with a single boiler installed have shared in 51,449.64 payments between them.

Altmor Limited T/A Valleyview Enterprises - Pig Unit received 30,440.15 for a single boiler, Caldwell Steel Ltd 15,049.94 and Rowan Renewables Ltd 5,959.55, both again for a single boiler.

According to the list, over 10 million was paid out to RHI scheme users in Co Tyrone with five of the top 10 companies in the county. And, of the 874 applications published to date, some 308 of these are in this county.  It is understood the complete non-domestic RHI list includes some 2,000 claimants with 725 in Tyrone.

A Co Tyrone firm, which was one of the largest pay-out recipients, was LW Surphlis & Son Ltd., Drumlegagh, who received 358,236.

 

Manager, Adrian Surphlis said he participated in the scheme on the basis it was recommended, legal and presented as a good opportunity to embrace new technology and help the environment.

He added he wasn't happy that all the names of the recipients had been released and agreed that the way they were being portrayed was unfair.

Meanwhile, the Renewable Heat Association of Northern Ireland (RHANI) - the body representing the renewable heat industry in Northern Ireland - said in a statement: "The Renewable Heat Association hopes that this (list) will not lead to an assumption by the public or the media that the participants are acting improperly in any way, as the simple publication of names is, in no way, evidence of wrongdoing.

"Participants of the Renewable Heat Incentive entered a scheme legitimately which was designed and promoted by the Government in Northern Ireland.

"The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme was launched in Northern Ireland following the success of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme in Great Britain, which is still in operation and open to entrants."

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