Department for the Economy release list of RHI beneficiaries…

After months of legal wrangling, the Department for the Economy has finally released the names of all RHI beneficiaries who are in receipt of payments over £5000.

The released the data as a PDF but I converted it to a spreadsheet so you can filter it by who got the most. Which let’s face it is what we all want to know.

Download an excel version | View a google sheet version

Here are the top beneficiaries


As expected there is a lot of poultry farms on the list. Paul Hobson Ltd seems to be a Poultry farmer. There was a suggestion that these payments to farmers money may be considered an unlawful subsidy under EU competition rules but this needs to be clarified.

Can we stress there is nothing to suggest any of these beneficiaries are doing anything untoward, so be careful making allegations about specific beneficiaries in the comments.

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  • Deeman

    Charles hurst must need to keep the cars nice and warm so they keep breeding.

  • Jeremy Cooke

    BT71 – Total:74 Dungannon and South Tyrone
    BT78 – Total:63 Omagh
    BT70 – Total:61 Dungannon and South Tyrone
    BT60 – Total:40 Armagh

    Eglinton (Timber Products) Ltd BT47 990 £252,844.05
    McIlroy Farms Limited BT51 90 £127,605.27
    Green Biomass Ltd BT82 99 £119,012.29
    Paul Hobson Ltd BT71 99 £112,267.25
    McIlroy Farms Limited BT51 99 £109,827.91
    Paul Hobson Ltd BT71 99 £100,857.06
    Noel Smith Ltd BT70 99 £95,380.24
    McIlroy Farms Limited BT51 99 £94,584.81
    McIlroy Farms Limited BT51 99 £94,300.80
    C&L Mushrooms Ltd BT34 99 £93,080.70

  • Surveyor

    Puts it into perspective when they haul people through the courts for claiming a couple of hundred pounds in benefits they weren’t entitled to.

  • Katyusha

    This will be the greatest tool ever to be compiled for farmers sniping at their neighbours. How utterly glorious. I can only imagine the whispers circulating around my own stomping ground this night.

    Also, some of the company names are just golden. For example

    Renewable Heat Generation Limited 9/16/2014 BT61 Solid Biomass Boiler 90 £65,149.94

    Too good, honestly.

  • Deeman

    Do eglinton burn their own timber instead of selling it?

  • Jeremy Cooke

    Amongst other things they export wooden pallets which require to be heat treated before export.

  • William Kinmont

    We seem to be drying a lot of concrete products that presumably dried themselves prior to the scheme

  • William Kinmont

    Hot hatches I suppose

  • chrisjones2

    A company selling boilers is claiming huge subsidy for running boilers!!! Within the scheme thats OK but is it sensible?

  • chrisjones2

    How do Government Agencies qualify for subsidies from another Government Department? Mad

  • Jag

    Two big mistakes Brian

    (1) this is not ALL recipients of RHI, only incorporated businesses, apparently there are privacy/data protection issues with other recipients and those aren’t being released at present

    (2) the totals above are just for individual boilers. These are the recipients who have received £250k or more.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ed6cd5ad61f99b4520eebc3e5712281709bc503e59d4276acdcdb0f1552a78cb.jpg

  • Neil

    That is a good business model right there.

  • Jag

    FG Drying Limited is an interesting one, incorporated in August 2015.

    As Brian says, there is no explicit suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of RHI recipients, but there will doubtless be more questions about recently incorporated companies in case any were established solely to take advantage of RHI.

  • William Kinmont

    Department of agriculture forest service owns most of the trees being made into pellets for the boilers. Paid for the pellets then paid to burn them. Subsidies will have been given for planting, and an annual fee per acre may have been paid for the years it took the trees to grow. Forest service annual running costs to manage approx 20 million?? All to produce pellets we have to pay people to burn or fence posts we subsidise farmers to errect. What is the real cost of these boilers probably more than double any estimate so far.add to this any grants or loans the factories making the pellets or boilers received from DETI.

  • Jag

    Can anyone confirm that, for example, Paul Hobson Limited, which has received £659,541, does the £1.60 for every £1 spent on energy apply?

    So, in Paul Hobson’s case, they spent £412k on energy and received £659k in RHI. So, they’ve made a “profit” of £247k plus they’ve had £412k of free energy. Is that right?

  • Brian O’Neill

    You are right. I just realised this when I was looking at the reddit thread https://www.reddit.com/r/northernireland/comments/5zqw7s/rhi_subsidy_firms_named_by_department_for_the/?st=J0CYUO62&sh=6498dc4a

    I have updated this post. Thanks.

  • Sharpie

    Back in the day when we had a few hens running round the garden we fed them pellets. Never found the one that laid the golden egg! These guys though – they have it cracked.

  • Jag

    Valley Services (NI) Limited is another interesting one.

    Incorporated March 2014

    One director/shareholder – Joshua Mulholland who doesn’t appear to be a director of any other Irish/UK incorporated company.

    Again, no suggestion of wrongdoing, just interesting to see businesses which were first established during the RHI scheme.

  • Jag

    If anyone wants to do their own research on a company, they can get free details (directors, shareholders, documents, accounts) from Companies House here.

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk

  • William Kinmont

    There will be hidden costs for the companies though. Have a look on Moore concretes Facebook page in the photos you can see all the workers being given ice lollys . No one factors in the huge ice cream bill costs needed to mitigate the heat from the boilers.

  • Brian O’Neill

    I had a look at the photo in question. Some workers appear to have been given Cornettos while others have to make do with inferior ice lollies.

    Does not bode well for industrial relations.

  • William Kinmont

    Did you see what flavour minister Hamilton got during his visit

  • Korhomme

    Are these totals for (continuing) running costs only, or are there subsidies for the capital costs as well? What period do these payments cover?

  • The worm!

    Second greatest.

    Publishing all the farm grant data tops it, and fully searchable too!

    http://www.cap-payments.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx

  • Gavin86

    “£1 spent to earn £1.60” – The £1.60 is correct as that is the tariff received when a certain amount of heat is generated, furthermore the £1.60 was meant to increase I believe with inflation.

    The £1 figure is based upon an amount of biomass that would need to be burned, in order to achieve the £1.60 figure. But it depends where and how the biomass fuel is purchased, as if you shop around you could potentially obtain the fuel for much less than the £1 figure and conversely it could cost more than the £1 figure.

    It is similar to any fuel it varies in price. The only way of accurately knowing how much return on investment a boiler makes is to know exactly how much the fuel cost, that went into the boiler.

  • Thomas Girvan

    I looked up Heatabrix.
    Check it out, it is a cracker!
    It is described as a dormant company.
    It has one director, with one share, nominal value £1.
    Six boilers all applied for on same date 26 Oct 2015
    Income £240k
    Correspondence address is in Enniskillen.
    Previous director’s address Camlough Co Armagh.

  • William Kinmont

    Mad it is environMENTAL. cutting down mature trees which are soaking CO2 out of the atmosphere and transporting them in lorries to a factory specially built to convert them to pellets . Then transport the pellets back across the country to burn them in boilers made from materials imported from all over the world . In order to dry concrete products slightly faster so that they have a competitive edge over alternative construction products which would have had less environMENTAL impact. Or use them in poultry houses to sustain the margins here and help expand an industry where disposing of waste chicken litter has already caused an environmental controversy under the EU nitrates directive. Incidentally the subsidies for farm manure storage to meet the nitrates directive already amounted to tens of millions going to the concrete precast industry . Was there not also something on the news recently about the impact of dredging Lough Neagh for sand for this industry?

  • Jeremy Cooke

    I agree – we need a few more columns including date of incorporation, for example

    McIlroy Farms Limited
    Classification: Raising of poultry
    Registration Date: 10 Mar 2016
    Capital: £100.00 on 6 Mar 2017
    Directors and Secretaries: Graham Mcilroy

    Green Biomass Ltd
    Classification: Distribution of electricity
    Registration Date: 23 Jul 2014
    Capital: £100.00 on 26 Jul 2016
    Directors and Secretaries: Karol Mcelhinney & Chantelle Mcelhinney

    Ecobiomass NI Ltd – no record shown

    from http://www.companiesintheuk.co.uk

  • Jag

    There’s an Eco Biomass (NI) Limited, incorporated Sept 2015, registered in Dungannon, one director, Thomas Spence, who appears to be a builder whose main company is Mainline Holdings (NI) Limited.

  • Jeremy Cooke

    I can see how someone would argue that, in this instance, the RHI scheme is supporting exports which we desperately need.

    I wonder if others would argue that it’s a subsidy which, I think, places it on more contentious ground.

  • Jeremy Cooke

    Seems to be a large query over the entire concept of burning wood pellets on ecological grounds in the first place: is it a good scheme badly implemented or is it a bad scheme badly implemented?

  • Granni Trixie

    It seems that it will be another month before investigation into RHI starts its work. They could do worse than build on eagle eyed Slugger research.

  • Granni Trixie

    And is it in the public domain who (.and where) made and sold the pellets?

  • Nevin

    Hobson’s choice – as told to the News Letter’s Sam McBride.

  • The worm!

    Take somewhere like “Rylands Nursing Home”. It’s a genuine nursing home, been there many years, and what they’ve spent would be a pretty realistic figure for heating a building of the size which it is.

    They’ll not be near natural gas, so their only other option would have been oil. So I’d tend to think an example such as that would be a decent outworking of the scheme as you are replacing the use of a finite resource (oil), with a resource which is ultimately renewable (wood).

    So I think the ethos behind it is sound, but just perverted by greed as usual.

  • Jag

    If it strikes anyone as odd that we are spending billions (including a predicted £500m from the so-called “block grant”) on encouraging businesses to burn more CO2 producing wood, you might want to read this recent widely-praised (except by the biomass industry) report from the Royal Institution of International Affairs

    https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/impacts-demand-woody-biomass-power-and-heat-climate-and-forests

    Burning wood creates more CO2 than burning coal for the same output of energy.

    To “renew” the wood that is burned takes many, many years, decades for most including the ash tree which takes 10 years to grow 18 ft, and which, in nature, takes 18 months just for its seeds to germinate (germination can be artificially speeded up).

    Not only are we burning good money on a crappy local implementation of a scheme, but the scheme itself is bonkers.

  • Jeremy Cooke

    But there are concerns the way the wood is produced is not actually recovering the CO2 as advertised.

  • chrisjones2

    What is really interesing about this list of companies is that so few have a web presence which , these days, is so often an indication of commercial activity. I can understand that a chicken farmer may not have a web site but for some of the other firms its interesting that they dont

  • chrisjones2

    Hot hatches – bloody chickens again

  • chrisjones2

    Yes but it ceased to be dormant when the heat flowed.

    Interestingly too there is a company called Heatabrix in Somerset that manufactures organic wood fuel for barbques etc but it seems to have nothing to do with the NI firm

  • chrisjones2

    That rather depends on who has the boilers doesnt it.

    And who urged all these farmers to get on board and fill their boots

    Anh who leaked the information that the scheme might close and prompted a surge in applications

  • chrisjones2

    …but many of these are legitimate businesses who were just handed what amounbted to a blank cheque by the EU and Government – they would have been stupid to refuse

  • chrisjones2

    I agree in principle but the underpinning ethos of the whole scheme is nonsense.

    The idea is that burning wood is carbon neutral – but it isnt. First even if it was the maths suggests it takes 30 to 50 years for the new trees to absorb the extra CO2 from burning the pellets. But then there ie the energy cost of planting, growing, cutting down, transporting and drying the pellets. All that makes it a very inefficient fuel.

    And when you burn it you get lots of horrible pollutants damaging to human health. The whole scheme set up by the EU is an utter green scam

  • Jeremy Cooke

    I’m afraid we agree

  • Jeremy Cooke

    I think some of the above were using boilers from the RHI scheme to make the pellets. I wonder could they sell the pellets back to themselves so that they could make more pellets? We’re all going to be rich I tells ya!

  • john millar

    “Not only are we burning good money on a crappy local implementation of a scheme, but the scheme itself is bonkers.”

    its typical of what “government” does

  • ted hagan

    And probably most of these firms are operating the scheme legitimately. Ulimately it was the scheme and its instigators who are at fault.I still think the end bill will be massive for the taxpayer, no matter what Simon Hamilton’s efforts to steady the ship.
    These operators aren’t fools and have an army of lawyers on hand..

  • William Kinmont

    seems that we are subsidising a few industries , poultry ,precast concrete mushroom . will the eu see this as unfair state aid and what might the fine for this be

  • William Kinmont

    500 million probably tip of the iceberg . The trees are grown often grown on land subdidised anually , the planting may have been subsidised add to this that the forest service costs arround 20 million a year to run to manage this . multiply this by 30 plus years to grow a crop of trees. As the trees must come from sustainible forestry i assume we have committed ourselves to all these costs almost to infinity

  • AntrimGael

    Most of these companies and individuals applied to a scheme that wasn’t illegal and you can’t really blame them, I mean it’s Christmas every day for them. HOWEVER it would be interesting to see if there are any further links between the recipients and certain political parties or people linked to those parties. It just confirms that the minister in charge at the time AND the senior civil servants who are meant to control these schemes have questions to answer. While undoubtedly the focus is on Arlene Foster and the DUP senior civil servants ALWAYS seem to fall into sh*t and come up smelling of roses. NOT this time surely? They are as much responsible but seem accountable to no one.

  • Fraser Holmes

    Remember the fire in Fermanagh that inadvertently burnt 14 tonnes of wood chip and 8 boilers all located in one shed?

    Well that was Corby Biomass Systems – directors Ronan and Padraig Corby of Newtowngore Co Leitrim. Much as they might be grateful to Mrs Foster, I doubt if they are members of the DUP or even vote for them.

    Read more here: http://preview.tinyurl.com/k8e3kgu

  • chrisjones2

    Oh dear and its after 5 so the Doctors is shut!

  • chrisjones2

    I agree…but thats just part of it. Its a nonsense on almost every single level.

    And the UK Minister who pushed all this through now works for ……. roll drums ……. a major US pellet producer (after he was released from Prison)

  • Brendan Heading

    The idea is that burning wood is carbon neutral – but it isnt. First even if it was the maths suggests it takes 30 to 50 years for the new trees to absorb the extra CO2 from burning the pellets.

    Chris,

    This is what carbon neutral means. The carbon is recovered from the atmosphere after the fuel is burned within an acceptable period of time, such that the overall level of carbon is reduced.

    Of course ultimately all fuels are carbon neutral given geological time periods.

    This is not to be confused with zero-carbon sources such as solar/wind/tidal.

    But then there ie the energy cost of planting, growing, cutting down, transporting and drying the pellets. All that makes it a very inefficient fuel.

    What does “very inefficient fuel” mean; what are you comparing it to ? All fuels have costs of extraction, processing, transportation, storage etc. In what way is wood worse than the rest ?

    Creating wood pellets is arguably far more efficient compared with, in most cases, coal or oil. All you need is a few lumberjacks, a sawmill and the pressure treating facility. With coal you have mines and the attendant safety issues, ventilation, lighting, structural maintenance which pushes the cost up. With oil, it’s even worse, as it has most of those costs together with the issues associated with being out in the ocean, and the infrastructure to cart the oil back to land; then you have to refine it.

    So while the benefits of wood pellets may have been oversold, I don’t think you can justifiably call biofuels relatively inefficient.

  • William Kinmont

    C02 released per unit energy produced is markedly more for wood than coal. Lumberjacking is not a renowned as being much safer than mining. Coal is generally transported from mine to final user . Timber has to be transported to factory processed to pellets dried out which is huge energy input relative to coal then transported second time. Energy content per kg or cubic meter of coal transported is massively more than wood pellets . Natural gas similar energy. Appreciate that green forest seems inherently nicer than a coal mine but is no more carbon neutral than the coal within a timeframe that’s meaningfull.

  • William Kinmont

    Using waste timber for pellets makes some sense if it was true waste. Previous to the scheme much of this “waste ” was channelled into other uses ,insulation materials ,animal bedding fibreboard . Now we have reached a situation where trees are felled to meet these waste demands increasing deforestation.

  • Brendan Heading

    C02 released per unit energy produced is markedly more for wood than coal.

    I did not claim otherwise. The relevant point is that the CO2 released by burning wood is coming from the air from which it was originally extracted while the tree was growing.

    Lumberjacking is not a renowned as being much safer than mining.

    I’d expect this to be the case, as large amounts of money are spent to make mining safe. A lot of our coal these days comes from cheaper sources such as Turkey where safety practices are less stringent.

    Appreciate that green forest seems inherently nicer than a coal mine but is no more carbon neutral than the coal within a timeframe that’s meaningfull.

    How can you possibly claim this ? Coal is created over a geological timespan.

  • Nevin

    “There are two active businesses listed at the Fermanagh site, according to Companies House –construction firm Drumco Limited and Corby Biomass Systems Limited.

    The latter has two directors, Padraig and Ronan Corby from Co Leitrim and was set up in October 2015.

    The business is described as the “manufacture of other products of wood; manufacture of articles of cork, straw and plaiting materials”.

    It is believed the company rented the shed and part of the premises from Drumco and the wood boilers were first installed in around October 2015.” ,, Irish News 19 January 2017

    Gerald Love, formerly a director of Gerald Love Contracts (dissolved), is listed as the sole director of Drumco Limited (January 2016), same registered address as Corby Biomass Systems Limited. [Companies House source].

    Corby B S Ltd has submitted a planning application:

    “Reference LA10/2016/1029/F
    Application Received Thu 06 Oct 2016
    Address 2 Levally Road Drumboory Enniskillen
    Proposal Ercetion of building for the Drying and storing of Bio-Mass
    Status Consultations Issued”

    Present use of land/buildings: “Civil engineering contractors yard/disused quarry.”

    Description: “Wet biomass pre chipped delivered to site and stored under cover (proposed building) until ready to be dried using industrial dryer powered by biomass boilers, dried woodchip stored under cover (proposed building) until ready for collection for onward transport. Loading shovel used to load dryer with wet chip and artic lorries with dried chip.”

    “Corby Biomass Systems Ltd 31/10/2015 – 8 x 99 kWth boilers” ..
    [Department for the Economy non-domestic RHI list]

  • Nevin

    AG, the RHI non-domestic scheme was jointly promoted by DETI and DARD officials. The scheme was administered by OFGEM. Perhaps there were just too many links in the chain as well as too loose a form of governance. This has been a spectacular debacle but the ingredients as well as lesser problems have been pointed out for several years. We just go muddling on.

  • William Kinmont

    I am not advocating increased use of coal i choose it because of its terrible environmental qualities just to show how mad the wood pellets are. It will take the wood 50/60 years to break even with coal up until this point we will have been increasing c02 not decreasing it by burning pellets . Is it reasonable to chose a system that will make the problem worse for 60 years .This dosent even take into account that if we don’t burn pellets we might leave some existing forests standing to soak up c02. Also the wood system is dependant on sustaining the reforestation for 60 plus years in Ni alone this will cost actual Billions in subsidies and management. This cost is unlikely to be sustained.

  • William Kinmont

    Are we importing biomass materials to dry them in NI because it would not make economic sense to do so in the south or any other country except Narnia.
    With all this drying going on I’m surprised someone isn’t evaporating Lough Neagh to make the eels easier to catch.

  • William Kinmont

    Yes is the answer

  • Nevin

    Wood chip quality workshop held at AFBI Hillsborough – just before 6 October 2015. Seems that Department of Finance and Personnel also had a role to play, in addition to DETI and DARD.

    Wood

    Commercial forestry, which takes place right across
    Northern Ireland, produces large volumes of timber from
    coniferous trees every year. While most of the timber
    produced is processed to make timber products, the offcuts
    and sawdust produced can be used to produce wood
    pellets.

    At the same time the forest residues, such as the branches
    and off cuts remaining from the harvesting of timber in
    forests, can be used to produce wood chip. Wood chip will
    usually require to be dried before it can be effectively used
    as biofuel. This forest waste can also be difficult and costly
    to collect and process.
    .. GCE – Environmental Technology – Energy from Biomass

    I understand white elephant grass can also be used as a source of bioenergy.

  • William Kinmont

    Daera/Dard currently has a number of new Grant schemes for fencing materials on farms mainly wooden posts. It would seem that the timber products are now the waste material needing subsidised and the offcuts the important product.

  • Ellen Ruddy

    another company registered in Ireland with the same name and age..

    http://www.solocheck.ie/Irish-Director/Corby/Brian/665539718/

    Company Name:Brian Corby Transport Limited
    Time in Business:10 Months
    Company Number:581060
    Current Status:NORMAL
    Principal Activity:[4941] Freight Transport By Road
    May Trade As:Brian Corby Transport Ltd

    Registered Address:
    Killerin,
    Newtowngore,
    Co Leitrim

    then there’s

    http://www.solocheck.ie/Irish-Company/Corby-Fabrications-Limited-158433#report-4
    Registered Address:Druminshingore,
    Newtowngore,
    Co. Leitrim.

    Current Status:STRIKE OFF LISTED

    Corby Fabrications Limited was set up on Monday the 7th of May 1990.
    Their current address is Co. Leitrim, and the company status is Strike
    Off Listed. The company’s current directors Padraig Corby and Marie
    Corby have been the director of 4 other Irish companies between them; 4
    of which are now closed. Corby Fabrications Limited has 4 shareholders.

  • Nevin

    Ellen, have you looked at the plans for the new building which were submitted shortly prior to the fire? It’s proposed floor area is 824 m2; the out-of-alignment adjacent original is about one quarter of the size at 216 m2.

  • Old Mortality

    That might upset a few of their own supporters. Not many DUP voters in Carrickmore and Derrylin where two of the listed beneficiaries are located.

  • Nevin

    Jag, might these two be related?

    Josh MULHOLLAND
    Total number of appointments 3 – Born July 1989
    29a Lenagh Road Randalstown, Antrim, Northern Ireland, BT41 2NF

    Joshua Kennedy MULHOLLAND
    Total number of appointments 1 – Born July 1989
    Pennybridge Accounting Ltd, Pennybridge Industrial Estate, Ardilaun House, Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, BT42 3HB

    The records show the same date of birth.

    [Adds] Irish News report 20.03.17

  • William Kinmont

    Main beneficiarys are those of the nobility with big forestry interests and they can’t vote