THE new group headquarters of renewable energy power generation specialists Edina was officially opened at Swords Business Park on May 1.
Minister of State for the bio-energy sector Fergus O’Dowd was on hand to cut the ribbon at the new site which is home to 40 staff working in administration, workshop and stores.
Minister O’Dowd was recently given responsibility for the bio-energy sector at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.
Already, he has held meetings with local organisations promoting the benefits of anaerobic digestion. In lay man’s terms, AD is the process of using the bio-gas from organic waste to create energy in the form of electricity and heat. And the Minister has shown a keen interest in how these can help both the economy of Ireland and the wellbeing of its citizens.
The official opening doubled up as a showcase for local organisations, companies and other interested parties to learn about AD and promote Irish technological solutions.
Minister O’Dowd congratulated Edina on its success in the energy market and highlighted the benefits to agriculture, saying: “Bioenergy will play a critical role in achieving the ambitious renewable energy 2020 target set for Ireland and displacing expensive fossil fuel imports and enhancing our energy supply security.”
With a turnover of €55m in 2013, Edina has had a 40% turnover increase year on year over the past four years, and the workforce has doubled since 2006 to 164 staff.
Edina’s joint managing director Tony Fenton, said: “To top it all off, this month we received an innovation award in the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2014 in the UK. It is a very prestigious honour to receive.”. He added: “We won it for the design and operation of power generation from the anaerobic digestion of organic waste.”
Manufacturing output doubled in size since 2012 and is forecast to increase by a further 50% by 2015, to which Fenton said: “We are delighted. Our order intake is 110% up on the same time in 2013.”
Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) welcomed the news: “It is great to see businesses coming to Swords and in particular Edina. It is great to see an Irish-based renewable energy power generation company leading the way across Europe and the world. I would wish them and their 160 employees every success at their new Swords headquarters. On top of the recent opening of Ryanair, it is great to see more and more positive news in this regard for Swords and Fingal.”
Set up with five staff in 1985 by late Clontarf native Paul Gibbons, Edina which is 80% Irish-owned has grown consistently even during the worst of recessions, and exports its products manufactured in Ireland to places such as Australia, Europe and the Baltic States.
Edina has been a leading exponent of developing AD power plants in the UK and recently Australia. It also built the first AD projects in Ireland. The company has offices at Little Island, Co Cork, and all manufacturing is done in Ireland at its plant in Lisburn, Co Antrim.