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Case Study: Silvapower

Published: January 2007

Large Picture

Generating fuel for the future (from the left) Silvapower's Richard Wagstaff and Kevin Steven of SYIF

The Company

Silvapower Ltd, based in Rossington, specialises in the production and supply of biomass fuel to boilers in the South Yorkshire region and is the main supplier in the area. Biomass fuels are fuels made from vegetation and the company supplies woodchip and wood pellets for biomass boilers and room heaters.

Their focus is small scale fuel supply (i.e. not power stations) and they provide a range of services from sourcing feedstock, providing contract chipping services, storage and drying, and selling fuel by the kilowatt hour to providing training and consultancy on biomass fuel production and infrastructure.

The Challenge

Many organisations are considering biomass energy options to reduce their carbon emissions. In deciding whether to go ahead with a biomass programme the question of whether there is a sufficiently reliable biomass fuel supply infrastructure always arises. Silvapower has been set up to meet that requirement. Silvapower has won contracts for 2006/08 to supply a number of local council’s properties with biomass fuel. The company needed to purchase a large amount of feedstock in order to meet these orders and secure its reputation as a main and reliable supplier of biomass fuels.

The Solution

SYIF provided a working capital loan to help fund the purchase of woodchip stock to supply the contracts Silvapower already have in place for next winter and the following year.

Progress to Date

Silvapower have successfully secured contracts with Sheffield City Council, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, The National Trust, the RSPB and the Peak District National Park to supply them with biomass fuels. They have also been working with representatives from the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council.

Richard Wagstaff, Managing Director of Silvapower, said: "Biomass fuel provided by Silvapower is an economically viable solution for housing developers, hotels, councils and other large organisations who are looking to reduce their CO2 emissions and use more environmentally friendly fuels."

"Generally organisations are quite sceptical about using biomass fuels and so it is essential for Silvapower to maintain our reputation as South Yorkshire’s main and most reliable biomass fuel supplier and the loan from SYIF has helped us to achieve this."

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).