Biomass pioneer secures £2.3m to complete Teesside demo plant

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A Teesside business which has developed a new way to generate fuel and chemicals from waste biomass has secured a further £2.3m investment to commercialise its technology.

Nova Pangaea Technologies has completed a funding round led by NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, with additional funds from existing investors including Cambridge Angels and venture capital firm Par Equity.

Nova Pangaea’s technology processes ‘non-food biomass’ such as waste timber, straw or other crop waste and uses it as a basis for chemicals or bio-ethanol, which can be blended into petrol.

It offers the potential to significantly cut carbon emissions and reduce reliance on oil without using land or crops suitable for food.

The technology could also provide a new source of income for industries such as sugar or any which produce a large amount of waste biomass.

The company, which is building a demonstration plant at Wilton with the help of a £4.6m Department of Transport (DfT) grant, currently employs ten staff in addition to local subcontractors, but believes it could create hundreds of new jobs in the longer term.

With the plant due for completion in the coming months, the funding will allow the company to put it into operation, and market its technology worldwide.

Nova Pangaea is run by an experienced team led by engineer and serial entrepreneur Ed Wilson, the CEO.

Mr Wilson said: “This latest funding round represents a major milestone on our journey to commercialisation.

“With the support of our investors and the commitment of expert staff and board, our technology will soon be providing real ‘green’ benefits to the UK and within the huge global marketplace, reinforcing the UK’s position as a leader in the sector.”

Simon Crabtree, investment manager at Mercia, added: “Nova Pangaea has created a fantastic technology that could make a significant impact on both the UK and the world’s energy and chemicals needs, and break the reliance on oil. We are delighted to back Ed and his industry-leading team.“

David Soley, vice-chair of Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “Clean energy is at the core of the region’s growth ambitions as we increasingly become the clean energy capital of the UK.

“It’s fantastic to see such an entrepreneurial local business develop the opportunities that lie ahead while creating the good quality, well paid jobs in the industry of the future.”

Sean Hutchinson of British Business Bank said: “Since its launch in 2017, NPIF’s impact on businesses has been wide-ranging, providing funding to launch new products, support innovation, employ new staff and upskill existing staff, enter new markets and acquire new facilities.

“We are very pleased that NPIF continues to unlock growth potential in the Tees Valley by supporting small growing businesses with vital investment.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

 

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