Award-winning clean-tech company to be wound down

Longford-based Airsynergy had accumulated losses of more than €23m at the end of 2019

The directors of an award-winning clean-tech company have moved to wind down the insolvent business after a number of “challenging trading years”, a spokesman said.

A meeting of the creditors of New World Energy Enterprises, which traded as Airsynergy, and its parent company, New World Energy Systems has been called for Thursday, July 14th, at which Peter Doherty, director of corporate advisory and recovery at BDO, will be proposed as liquidator.

The renewable energy tech company, founded in 2008 by Cavan-based businessman Jim Smyth, started out as a wind turbine business but expanded into other areas including heating ventilation. It developed a hybrid solar- and wind-powered device called an “intelligent smart pole”, providing off-grid electricity generation to power street lights, security cameras and electric fences, among other things.

The product scooped the top prize for Renewable Energy Technology of the Year at the annual Energy Awards in London in 2017, beating out heavy-hitters including Kingspan and Mitsubishi.

Former HMV Ireland and Xtra-vision boss Gerry Butler was brought in as chief executive of Airsynergy in 2015 to expand into new markets in the United States and elsewhere.

However, it’s understood the business struggled to kick on and, despite undertaking a “significant restructuring programme”, its position had not improved, company secretary James Healy said. Mr Butler resigned from the board of the company in 2019.

By the end of that year, accumulated losses of more than €23 million had built up at New World Energy Systems, according to accounts filed last year.

The directors had made a cumulative bad debt provision of €14.6 million related to amounts owed to it by another company in the group, New Energy Enterprises, which is also due to be wound up. New Energy Systems also owed shareholders and directors who had lent money to the company a combined €1.3 million at the end of 2019.

“The directors expect that all amounts owing to third-party trade creditors will be settled in full,” Mr Healy said.

Directors of the company at the end of 2019 included Atlantic Aviation Group owner and director Patrick Jordan and Michael Roy Enright, director of Wychwood Properties.

The directors noted in the accounts that the company had secured additional funding of €940,000 in 2020. However, they said that the pandemic had “led to increased lead times between the initial engagement with potential customers and the subsequent conversion of sales opportunities”.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times