Kernel Capital announce £2M environmental investment in Belfast-based Silform Technologies

  • The Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund (NI) has led a £2m investment in Belfast-based Silform Technologies, in syndication with private investors.

    There are billions of tonnes of coal waste around the world today, causing environmental problems and giving rise to significant ongoing costs to mining operators and government agencies.

    To combat this, Silform have developed a pelletizing system for the conversion of coal waste deposits into pellets which have economic value. The firm states this novel approach is environmentally clean, high volume and low cost.  

    The company is also currently developing a metallurgical coal pellet for use in the steel industry, as well as an enhanced BioCoal, which will be 30% less CO2 than coal but increase the quantity of heat produced by 70% in comparison to pure wood Biomass pellets.

    This funding will be used to establish a pilot plant in Northern Ireland and scale the R&D team in collaboration with their commercial partners to enhance the solution to broader applications.

    Allen Martin, Partner in Kernel Capital said the company is “pleased to continue its support of Silform Technologies by leading this investment round. Following on from our initial investment, the Company has successfully developed and patented innovative technology that has the potential to deliver significant environmental and economic returns. This investment will enable the company to establish a pilot plant in conjunction with its commercial partners.”

    Paul McClurg, Head of Business Banking Belfast within the Bank of Ireland UK seconded this: “This investment round will be a vital next step in the commercialisation of Silform Technologies’ innovative fuel products and solutions. The establishment of the pilot plant locally in Northern Ireland has massive potential to deliver a positive global environmental impact and transform industrial fuel usage and waste.”

    CEO of Silform Technologies, Ken Flockhart noted that the continued support of their investors meant they “have successfully developed the patented FuelForm energy changeover technology, the precursor to our future MetaForm and BioForm range, and with the completion of our pilot plant we are poised to move to the next stage in commercialising our products.”

    Significant private investment has also come from Silform Technologies Chairman, Mervyn McCall who said:“Having worked with Ken and Silform Technologies for the last three years, I see the significant impact this technology could have not just locally, but also on a global scale across a number of industries, and indeed the environment. This funding marks a major milestone for the company which can now look to developing the technology further and enhancing the solution for specific markets.”

    The Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Growth Fund (NI) fund was originally designed to help small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in Northern Ireland accelerate their growth. Invest Northern Ireland has committed £15m to the fund which is partially financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.

    This action is hoped to be a step in the right direction to an ecotechnic future in helping the enviroment and managing the planet's natural resources. 


    Source: Written from press release. Photo from left: Allen Martin, Partner, Kernel Capital; Ken Flockhart, CEO, Silform; Mervyn McCall, Chairman, Silform; Paul McClurg, Head of Business Banking Belfast, Bank of Ireland UK.

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    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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