Grant Engineering officially open new €14m expanded facilities
17th January, 2020
Grant, Ireland’s leading engineering company specialising in the plumbing and heating industry, today welcomed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to officially open its newly expanded facilities in Birr, Co. Offaly representing a capital investment of €14 million.
The major expansion plans were announced in 2016 in response to increased demand for the company’s heating products on a local and international level. In recent years Grant has enjoyed further success in Ireland, the UK and further afield including France, Greece and New Zealand and has diversified its product portfolio to meet the changing needs of its customers around the globe.
The new facilities include a state-of-the-art R&D innovation centre, a customer services centre, a dedicated training academy featuring an auditorium and training suite, and an extension to the existing manufacturing facilities which has also seen further investment in robotics and automation.
Speaking at the opening An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “My vision for the future of the Midlands begins with companies like Grant Engineering. They have developed a 21st century facility for state-of-the-art, environmentally efficient heating products for the 21st century. And with the right vision, the right policies, and the right investment, the future for the Midlands itself is bright. As this area moves away from peat harvesting and electricity generation, we will leave no worker or community behind. Our Just Transition funding of €116 million will create an estimated 400 jobs directly and indirectly, and significantly upgrade the social housing stock.
“The first Just Transition Commissioner has been appointed and his priority will be to help communities and workers affected by the imminent ending of peat harvesting for power generation in the Midlands region. With the right vision, and the right policies, I believe the Midlands can become a leader in other areas of the green economy, such as retro-fitting. Through bog rehabilitation and tourism, we can also ensure that our bogs continue to be a source of employment. Decarbonising our economy with our Climate Action Plan means our air will be cleaner, our homes warmer and more comfortable, we will have secure energy supplies, and there will be new jobs in sustainable industries.”
Grant Engineering Founder Stephen Grant said: “We are delighted to be starting the new year with the opening of our new facilities. This investment demonstrates our commitment to innovation, growth and to the local economy. In recent years we have expanded into new markets and developed new products to meet the needs of our customer base. Our focus on sustainability continues to grow and to help achieve de-carbonisation I believe that home heating fuel needs to follow in the footsteps of transport and transition to electric or 100% biofuel heating. This is impossible to do in the short to medium term in an affordable way, however the introduction of a Biofuel Obligation for home heating could enable homes to become sustainable. We have future-proofed our products over the last 5 years so that they can operate using biofuel but to aid transition and further reduce emissions we need the support of fuel suppliers and the government.”
“Accelerating the electrification of heat is another way to aid transition and this is helped by current building regulations with new houses being predominately fitted with a heat pump. We have been supplying air to water heat pumps for nearly 10 years and these appliances are ideal for new build homes where the house design is matched to the heat pump, however, there is a huge issue for deployment of heat pumps to the retrofit market which is based on the affordability of deep retrofitting which cost up to €70k. Together with my R&D team, I am excited to announce that we have developed new hybrid technology called EVOLINK which will be available later this year. EVOLINK is the first of its kind in hybrid technology and enables the smart integration of heat pumps to a property by combining with existing technology in a home whether oil, gas or biomass. EVOLINK uses intelligent software and complex algorithms to opitimse the use of the heat pump throughout the year, optimising the operating temperatures of the two appliances through modulating pumps and hydraulic mixing circuits. It also incorporates smart features like in-built weather compensation and can effectively reduce carbon emissions by 70% - 80% overnight at a fraction of the cost of deep retrofitting, thereby offering an affordable way to transition with minimal disruption. The EVOLINK hybrid can play a substantial role in the transition to full decarbonisation of residential heat as will biofuel”
As recently as 2018, Grant Engineering expanded its footprint even further opening a premises in Lyon, France with the support of Enterprise Ireland.
Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said, “Enterprise Ireland has worked closely with Grant Engineering, both in Ireland and internationally since its establishment. At Enterprise Ireland, we know that investment in innovation is critical across all sectors to maintain competitiveness and to drive export growth and we are delighted to directly support this new facility. Grant Engineering has experienced strong progress over the last number of years, and I would like to congratulate Stephen, Niall and the team for their continued investment in Research and Development and their commitment to diversifying in international markets. Hugely important to the local economy, Grant Engineering is an excellent example of an innovative, regionally-based company with global ambition that has expanded its reach to build a robust business in the face of challenges like Brexit. This new R&D Innovation and Training facility will enable Grant Engineering to continue to grow, and we look forward to continuing our work with the team both here and through our international office network as they progress on this upward trajectory.”
Grant designs and manufactures a range of highly efficient heating products including Vortex condensing oil boilers, Aerona3 R32 air source heat pumps, solar thermal panels and pre-plumbed hot water cylinders. The company has recently diversified its offering to include heat emitters ranges - Afinia aluminium and Solo fan convector radiators and Uflex underfloor heating which are key features of its full home heating design, specification and supply solution.
Grant Engineering at peak season employs over 370 people in Ireland between full and part time roles and 80 in the UK.
NOTES TO EDITOR
About Stephen Grant
Since founding Grant Engineering in 1978, Stephen Grant has been committed to designing and manufacturing products to the highest standards. His dedication has been recognised through numerous awards including winning the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008 as well as OFTEC Awards for Excellence; Plumbing & Heating Awards for Innovative Products and Outstanding Achievements to the industry.
About Grant Engineering
The first broad range of forward-thinking heating products manufactured by Grant included a twin pass back boiler, which successfully doubled the heat exchanger surface area and delivered a high output for home users. This innovation later led to the production of Grant’s first patentable back boiler, the Grant Triple Pass Back Boiler, which remains the most efficient solid fuel open fire product on the market today.
During the 1980s and 1990s Grant expanded its range of high-efficiency heating appliances, with new products launched including the innovative Multipass range of oil boilers and the first Grant Slimline Boiler. From studying the principle of gas flow, Stephen led Grant in developing a product that made the passage of flue gas complex, keeping the gases inside the system as long as possible to optimise the heat transfer.
In terms of achievements and contributions to the heating industry the development of the patented Grant Vortex condensing technology which first appeared in the range of Grant Vortex condensing oil boilers released in 2001 has been Grant’s biggest innovation to give competitive advantage. Grant’s range of condensing oil boilers highly efficient, and because they use less oil during operation, they emit less carbon dioxide than traditional oil boilers, offering significant savings of up to 25% over a traditional oil boiler. The Vortex has won many awards including in 2008 the Grant Vortex Combi being awarded a Which? Best Buy Boiler and this was the first time that an oil boiler had been recognised as a Best Buy Boiler. In 2017, 2018 and 2019 the Grant Vortex Pro Utility condensing oil boiler range was awarded a coveted Which? Best Buy Oil Boilers – the only oil boiler on the market to be recognised over three consecutive years.
With the future in mind and anticipating the growing interest in renewables across Ireland and the UK, Grant developed and released its first renewable heating appliances in 2008 with the launch of their range of solar thermal products including Grant solar panels and the extensive range of stainless steel and copper Grant cylinders. Offering up to 70% savings on annual domestic water heating bills, the Grant solar system offers the most efficient solar panels on the market.
Following years of research and development, in 2011 Grant launched its first wood pellet boiler - the revolutionary Grant Spira condensing wood pellet boiler. Incorporating Grant’s patented condensing technology, the Spira was the first condensing wood pellet boiler in Europe and includes an integrated pellet store and low maintenance, self-cleaning design perfect for domestic use.
Following the popularity of the Spira, Stephen Grant set out to develop a smaller wood pellet boiler which featured a more compact design perfect for urban and suburban households - the Vecta. Integrating user-friendly controls, electric monitoring which indicates ‘burning on,’ ‘low pellet,’ and ‘ash removal’ settings, and a compact size which holds up to 60kg of wood pellets, the Vecta, the ‘little brother’ of the Spira is offering a solution for homeowners looking to make the switch to renewable fuels but that may not have the room to spare for a larger-scale wood pellet boiler installation and is available in outputs from 4kw to 16kw. The Grant Vecta condensing wood pellet boiler was awarded Best Renewable Product and Overall Product of the Show at the 2015 SEAI Energy Show in Dublin’s RDS.
In March 2016 the company launched its new range of oil-fired boilers the Vortex Blue Max. This range of oil boilers uses innovative state of the art blue flame technology. Heating oil is atomised at high pressure and then ignited. Hot combustion gases are then recirculated through the burner blast tube and this results in blue flame combustion. This produces extremely low emissions and hugely reduces the production of Carbon making it a super clean burning solution for home heating.
Following the success of their innovative Aerona3 air source heat pump range, Grant launched their Aerona3 R32 air source heat pump range in early 2019, available in four outputs the 13kW and 17kW models were also recognised by the international Quiet Mark standard for their low noise operation.
In recent years the company has also diversified its hot water cylinder range which recently included the launch of a new pre-plumbed hot water cylinder and has launched new ranges of heat emitters including Afinia aluminium radiators, Solo fan convector radiators and the Uflex underfloor heating system.
Committed to energy efficiency and sustainability Grant also offers the full home heating solutions where those building a new home or deep retrofitting can avail of the technical expertise of the Grant team and have their heating system designed free of charge, specified and supplied all under one roof.
Think Heating. Think Grant!
Enterprise Ireland is the Irish Government agency responsible for the development of Irish business, in terms of research & development support and capital investment.
For more information on the latest range of innovative and efficient Grant products visit www.grantengineering.ie or +353 57 9120 089.
For further information, please contact:
+44 7801 989 950
+44 7786 964 645