Business news in brief: Devro | Petrofac | Plexus

THE Green Investment Bank yesterday sealed its first deal in Northern Ireland, pumping £20 million into an £81m project to build a combined heat-and-power biomass station in Derry-Londonderry.

The plant – which will become the largest alternative energy scheme in Northern Ireland, boosting the province’s renewable output by 10 per cent – will burn wood supplied by haulage firm Stobart, preventing two million tonnes of timber going to landfill during the next 20 years. Finance is also coming from GCP Infrastructure Fund and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor.

Devro picks Dutch food chief for board

SAUSAGE-skin maker Devro yesterday appointed the head of an Amsterdam-listed food ingredients maker as a non-executive director.

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Gerard Hoetmer, chief executive at Corbion, held senior positions at UK-Dutch food and homecare giant Unilever up until 2005, when he took up his current position.

Chairman Steve Hannam said: “His background is uniquely relevant to Devro as we continue to grow our business internationally. As a serving chief executive, he will be also able to contribute to the Devro board on a broad front.”

Petrofac wins £35m German contract

ENERGY services giant Petrofac yesterday won a €40 million (£35m) contract from German industrial giant Siemens to help build two connection platforms in the North Sea, which will take electricity from wind farms and move it to the mainland.

The deal was the first to be signed by Petrofac Deutschland, a division opened in November, even though the FTSE 100 firm had been operating in Germany since 2008. Petrofac, which is based in London but has major operations in Aberdeen, is among many oil and gas engineering firms that are expanding into renewables.

Deals help Plexus to beat profit forecast

FULL-YEAR profits at Plexus, the oil and gas engineering firm, are going to beat City expectations, the Aberdeen-based company said yesterday.

Chief executive Ben van Bilderbeek said: “The excellent performance reflects continued demand for our wellhead equipment. The high level of new and repeat orders we have reported over the course of the year with blue-chip oil and gas operators around the world illustrates the momentum behind our business.”

Plexus has won contracts this year from firms including Eni, Maersk and StatOil.