Armagh-based company breaks into the North American market with £2m contract

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Armagh-based AIC Group is planning to use its breakthrough into the North American market as a springboard for further expansion.

The company, a specialist in thermal treatment and waste-to-energy systems, has secured a £2m contract, in partnership with Ohio-based importer Ecoverse Industries.

The deal will see AIC Group deliver a number of its EcoChar Phoenix 8000s – an innovative mobile biochar system. These units play a crucial role in converting discarded waste into a valuable resource for the composting, horticulture and agricultural industries.

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With the help of an Invest Northern Ireland Resource Efficiency Capital Grant, AIC Group invested in a state-of-the-art high definition plasma cutter which has significantly enhanced the company’s production efficiency and precision and enabled it to manufacture the EcoChar Phoenix 8000.

Lorcan McGillan, operations director, AIC Group; Economy Minister Conor Murphy, Conor Donnelly, technical sales director, AIC Group; and Ethna McNamee, Western regional manager, Invest NI.  Photo submittedLorcan McGillan, operations director, AIC Group; Economy Minister Conor Murphy, Conor Donnelly, technical sales director, AIC Group; and Ethna McNamee, Western regional manager, Invest NI.  Photo submitted
Lorcan McGillan, operations director, AIC Group; Economy Minister Conor Murphy, Conor Donnelly, technical sales director, AIC Group; and Ethna McNamee, Western regional manager, Invest NI. Photo submitted

Conor Donnelly, technical sales director of AIC Group, said: “With the support of Invest NI, we have strategically invested in a new high-definition plasma cutter that has streamlined our production processes and significantly accelerated production rates across our specialised product portfolio. This has had a significant impact on our business, enabling us to reduce wastage by over 15 per cent and cut energy consumption by nearly 20 percent.

“This increase in efficiency and decrease in production timescales have given us a competitive edge which was crucial in securing this contract and reinforcing our position as a leader in thermal treatment and waste-to-energy systems, both static and mobile.

"Due to increased demand globally, we have an additional six new staff to support our growth. We see immense opportunities for our business in the North American market and beyond, and we intend to use this contract as a springboard for future expansion.”

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Minister Visits

Economy Minister Conor Murphy, who visited the company’s manufacturing facility to make the contract announcement, said: “My economic vision is to transition the North to a greener, self-sufficient, and more sustainable economy and to become an exporter of products and services that drive decarbonisation globally.

"It’s an ambitious vision, but AIC Group exemplifies this potential and demonstrates to other companies here that it is achievable with the right support and investment. This aligns with the key principles of the Circular Economy Strategy, which I will be progressing over the coming months, which will help create a resilient low-carbon economy that benefits the environment, society and businesses.”

AIC Group Limited has achieved significant growth and innovation with the support of Invest NI. This has included R&D funding, a Resource Efficiency Capital Grant, and support to create six jobs, enabling the company to develop its cutting-edge EcoTech range.

Kieran Donoghue, Invest NI’s CEO said: “Congratulations to AIC Group on this significant contract in North America which highlights how investing in resource and material efficiency can have a positive impact on a business’ export potential.

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"Investments like these can lead to substantial cost reductions by shortening production times, minimising waste, and ensuring a seamless end-to-end process. Like AIC, it can make a business more competitive and equip them to thrive internationally.

“Invest NI is proud to support companies that are driving sustainable growth and making a global impact and we will continue to help businesses seize new opportunities that arise from the worldwide push to achieve net-zero emissions.”

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