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With environmental sustainability at the forefront of everybody’s minds, Perthshire company Dry Ice Scotland has used loans from the Scottish Government and UMi Debt Finance Scotland to support the construction of a renewable carbon capture facility.

Dry Ice Scotland started out in 2011 and has grown to become the third largest dry ice producer in the UK. It will soon go live with a major £4m carbon capture facility in Dumfries & Galloway, to capture CO2 from a nearby biogas facility for reuse.

Director Ed Nimmons said the expansion was part of a much stronger underlying sustainability focus in the company’s new business plan.

“We’ve been focusing on expanding capacity while making our processes more sustainable,” he says.  

“The process we’re putting in place ensures that we use a renewable source of CO2 with zero transportation carbon footprint, and therefore produce carbon neutral dry ice.

“Part of the project has been self-funded, and the size of the investment meant that we needed to look beyond the company’s own assets.”

Enter the UMi Debt Finance Scotland loan scheme. Supported under the Scottish Growth Scheme, the loan scheme is designed to help Scottish SMEs innovate, grow and diversify.

Ed said the conversations with the UMi team were crucial and timely.

He says: “We had already raised substantial funding for the project in principle. UMi’s early stage support was absolutely essential to get the project started prior to full project funding.”

Dry Ice Scotland was successful in getting two loans, and the UMi team were there to support them throughout the application processes.

Ed says: “Rather than saying, “Here’s what we need, now you go and get it”, they gave us advice on how to get what they needed, and provided detailed feedback on what we put in front of them.

“We learned a lot the first time round. That first application was a bit of a learning curve for us, but the second application was very straightforward, as the hard work had already been done.”

Tom Brock, UMi Debt Finance Scotland Fund Director, said: “Ed and the team at Dry Ice Scotland really understand the market and are extremely well placed to take advantage of the growth potential over the coming months, so we were happy to help propel that growth.”

Ed said the new facility would be operational in Q4 2021.

He commented: “UMi Debt Finance Scotland occupies a position that is not currently very well populated, where public money is used to encourage SME investment. I’m very happy with the loans, and I would encourage others to speak to them - you will receive a warm welcome and expert advice.”

Key takeaways: 

  • Perthshire-based Dry Ice Scotland is the UK's third biggest producer of dry ice. 
  • With support from UMi Debt Finance Scotland, the company has been able to make their operations more sustainable, opening a £4m carbon capture facility where it will turn biogas carbon into renewable CO2. 
  • UMi Debt Finance Scotland manages a £12 million loan fund under the Scottish Growth Scheme, fully funded and owned by Scottish Government, to help accelerate the growth of Scottish businesses. The loans start at £25,001 and can be used for a wide range of purposes including capital investment, exports, innovation and product development.

Photo (c) Dave Johnstone Photography

Richard Dawson
Article by Richard Dawson
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