BHSL founder Jack O’Connor and managing director Declan O’Connor
LIMERICK agri-tech business BHSL acquired a leading wastewater and effluent treatment company and completed its €7m fundraising this week.
Based in Kantoher, BHSL has developed a unique, patented system to convert untreated poultry manure into energy for heating, cooling and electricity generation to meet the energy needs of the farms.
It is transforming poultry production by turning a cost centre (dealing with waste manure) into a source of fuel, thereby driving farm profitability through reduced energy bills.
The purchase of Hydro International in Navan, for an undisclosed sum, is the first step in BHSL’s strategy to expand the range of applications of its patented fluidised bed combustion (FBC) technology, and serve the municipal and industrial sectors in extracting value from waste products.
The announcement comes as BHSL closes a fundraising process that has raised a total of €7m in new equity. In an earlier fundraising completed in September 2016 BHSL raised a further €5m, meaning the company has raised a total of €12m to support its growth plans as it actively seeks further acquisitions in the waste processing sector.
BHSL managing director, Declan O’Connor said Hydro International is an excellent fit for BHSL.
“The acquisition supports our strategy to expand into a broader environmental solutions business, focused on extracting value from waste products.
“Hydro provides a strong platform for targeting the industrial and municipal waste sectors given their impressive existing customer base. Our very well supported fundraising process provides us with the financial resources to underpin our growth strategy, including through further acquisitions,” said Mr O’Connor.
PJ Finn, founder and managing director of Hydro International, said the combination with BHSL will give the Navan firm to impetus to push on and take their company to the next level.
“The combination with BHSL provides an excellent platform for us to take the business to the next level of growth,” said Mr Finn.
The existing operations and 25 staff of Hydro International will be merged with BHSL, with Mr Finn heading up a new BHSL-Hydro division.
Hydro International has a diverse range of blue chip customers including Smurfit Kappa, ABP Food Group, Kerry Group, Irish Water and Coca Cola.
The company specialises in designing and implementing wastewater purification and effluent treatment systems for a wide range of applications across industries including food, dairy, abattoirs, paper production, and pharmaceuticals.
Through integrating Hydro and BHSL’s technologies, the company will be able to provide a full treatment solution for customers, combining Hydro’s expertise in removing water and moisture from waste, with BHSL’s ability to generate heat and electricity from the solid residue.
The ash remaining following the FBC process provides an additional revenue stream, on top of electricity/heat cost savings, given its high phosphate and potash content, which makes it an ideal fertiliser.