Meath-based Kells Stainless Limited and Turkish engineering company UMDE have signed a strategic alliance agreement, regarding the development of a biomass system to convert biodegradable waste to high-grade fertiliser and nutrients for power generation. A pilot plant is now at the advanced planning stage and will bring together technology developed by Kells and UMDE. The pilot plant will showcase the system and commercial benefits to the agricultural, dairy and biodegradable waste sectors, initially in Turkey and Ireland. A number of people will be involved in the project in Ireland and in Turkey, with plans to increase employment significantly as the project is developed and gains momentum. Kells Stainless manufactures stainless-steel pressure vessels and associated equipment for the pharmaceutical, biotech, food and beverage industries. The company employs over 70 people at its fabrication facility in Kells. UMDE is an engineering contracting company involved in process technologies and has an electro-mechanical team of over 400 employees, of which 29 are BS–MS engineers. It exports extensively to the Middle East and North Africa. The announcement regarding the strategic alliance agreement was made during an Enterprise Ireland trade mission of 25 companies to Turkey, led by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade Eamon Gilmore. Turkey is strategically located to benefit from its long-standing trading links with the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. The Kells/UMDE alliance is well placed to benefit from the growing investment in the region in pharma projects, R&D, biodegradable waste recycling and energy, together with the increasing demand in FMCG production capacity. Speaking after the signing, Kells Stainless MD, John McKeon said: “This is a great combination of both our companies’ talents and expertise in developing this process, and will have great benefits to both our countries.”