Muckle LLP is fuelling the region’s commitment to innovation in the renewables sector by supporting high technology business Xebec Adsorption UK Ltd.
The North East has always been synonymous with world-leading innovation, from Joseph Swan to George Stephenson. It was at the cutting edge of the Industrial Revolution and is now leading the way in renewable energy – it is already a world leader in wave and tidal design and also has the Centre of Excellence for New and Renewable Energy (NaREC).
A new revolution is emerging and the North East is well positioned to make the most out of these opportunities, including the latest development in renewable energy – biogas.
That’s why the region has attracted leading Canadian clean energy company Xebec Adsorption Inc, which has set up its first UK and European base, Xebec Adsorption UK Ltd, in Newcastle with support from Muckle LLP.
Xebec specialises in creating biomethane, a purified form of renewable biogas which can be distributed and sold by injection into existing gas utility pipelines. The clean, eco friendly fuel is formed through patented, kinetic pressure swing adsorption – a technology which purifies the raw biogas into biomethane which can then be utilised as a clean source of energy, either through injection into the National Gas Grid or via further treatment and used as compressed biomethane for transportation uses.
Craig Swinhoe, partner at Muckle LLP, said: “Xebec is at the forefront of its industry and it is fantastic to see the North East play such a key role in its continued growth.
“We were delighted to work closely with both the team in the UK and its parent company Xebec Adsorption Inc to set up Xebec Adsorption UK. This included working alongside the Canadian company, which is listed on the Toronto stock exchange, to ensure it was aware of any changes to the business that would be required by UK law. We also offered the firm advice on employment contracts, handbooks and policies, intellectual property and regulatory matters.
“Our commercial and construction teams led by Alan Grisedale and Tim Craig have provided guidance and support to Xebec on tenders as well as legal assistance drafting Xebec’s contractual documents, for example distribution agreements, manufacturing agreements as well as Xebec’s new terms and conditions specifically linked to trading in Europe and the UK.
“Muckle has built up a great relationship with the new team, now based at Quorum Business Park, and moving forward we will continue to support the firm on a wide range of areas. This includes ongoing support on tenders and entering into contracts as well as ensuring the firm meets regulatory requirements when installing technology on sites. Xebec will also continue to work with our employment team as it grows to ensure its staff are incentivised and retained.”
John Fyfe, Vice President Sales and Marketing, at Xebec Adsorption UK Ltd said: “Currently, the UK does not inject biogas into the National Gas Grid – however this is being looked at by several projects throughout the country. We are optimistic that the new Government will take the opportunity to review and implement a suitable Feed-In Tariff to promote the use of biogas as a source of clean energy through injection into the National Gas Grid.
“Biomethane can also be used as a carbon-neutral compressed natural gas (CNG) for fuelling vehicles including refuse trucks, heavy duty transportation trucks, transit buses and passenger cars – so the growth potential for this renewable energy is huge.
“Muckle LLP has a first-rate reputation, offering an unrivalled service across a range of legal areas and it has been great to work with the team there.”
Craig added: “Biogas is a huge growth area in the renewables sector, but it is a market that is in its infancy in the UK and across Europe – with the exception of Germany and Scandinavia – at present. Now is the time to harness this new fuel source, or the gas industry will be in danger of being left behind by electricity in the renewables sector and it is fantastic that the North East has attracted a firm like Xebec into the UK.
“Biogas is an advanced market in the US and Canada, but the potential for this industry in the UK is phenomenal. It is therefore vital to offer firms like Xebec the assistance required to step into the UK marketplace, so we do not lag behind the rest of the world.”