News

23 October 2014

New jobs and reduced carbon in the pipeline for Derbyshire firm thanks to D2N2 funding

A Derbyshire firm is planning a multi-million pound investment to create jobs and reduce its carbon footprint thanks to the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

DSF Refractories and Minerals Ltd is pressing ahead with the £2.8m project to install 12.3km of natural gas pipeline which will lead to growth and have a positive environmental impact.

It will safeguard the 108 jobs already in existence and create a further 15 as the pipeline is installed in the verge adjacent to the A515 from Brielow Bar to Newhaven, then alongside the A5012 to Friden.

As the pipeline has to be legally transferred to the National Grid upon completion under Gas regulations “normal” asset based funding options were unavailable to the company.  The Newhaven firm, which is 12 miles from Buxton, said as a consequence the project would have struggled to go ahead without a £280,000 from D2N2’s Unlocking Investment for Growth programme, which is backed by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund as well as securing a loan from the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Places Fund.

Once complete, the project will lead to reduced production costs and reduced carbon emissions and there could be an added benefit in the future to local businesses and farms to taking a spur off the line to reduce their own costs.

New internal pipework will be constructed to take the gas from the roadside meters to the kilns and other equipment. New burners suitable for natural gas will then be installed on the kilns, driers and heaters that currently use LPG or fuel oil.

Phil Bearn, Finance Director, of DSF said: “we are indebted to both the Regional Growth Fund and the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Places Fund in providing funding in circumstances where normal asset based funding was unavailable.  This is a game changing project allowing us to compete on a level playing field against our European competition in worldwide export markets.  Without the assistance of these 2 funds this project would not have not taken place enabling us to grow our business and securing jobs long into the future for all our employees.”

David Ralph, Chief Executive of D2N2, said: “D2N2 is about providing sustainable jobs. Jobs of the right sort, in the right place and at the right scale.

“Innovation and low carbon are two of our top priorities and complex high-quality manufacturing often has a significant need for heat, power and water.

“Therefore investment to be more energy efficient and reduce carbon are likely to reduce costs and where they are part of an expansion to directly increase the workforce, we are interested in providing our own support and investment.

“DSF has been working with us for sometime, so we are delighted that this project is now proceeding.”

DSF is the largest shaped refractory manufacturer in the UK and is recognised as one of the world’s leading suppliers of bonded refractories for the glass industry.

They supply to other heat containment industries including iron and steel, cement and other rotary kilns, carbon black producers as well as non-ferrous metals, incinerators, brick and ceramic kilns.

They export over 80% of refractory products to more than 50 countries across North/South America, Eastern/Western Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia.

DSF also produce processed minerals for use in the refractory and other industries in the UK and across Europe.

D2N2 - the local enterprise partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire - secured £5m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, topped up further by the European Regional Development Fund, to help businesses grow through its Unlocking Investment for Growth (UI4G) programme.

Since launching in 2013, the programme has approved £3.2 million in grant funding which will create over 300 (currently 314) jobs.  Further applications that are at an advanced stage are requesting in excess of £1.6m and expect to create an additional 200 jobs.

But it is a time-bound opportunity, with capital projects having to be completed by March 2015.

The programme will provide a grant in support of capital investment projects with a minimum overall project value of £200,000.  In exceptional circumstances up to £500,000 of grant funding is available for projects that can demonstrate real potential to create new jobs.

For more information, go to www.d2n2lep.org/UI4G, or call 01332 826366 or email UI4G@embltd.co.uk