RGF money boosts world leading turbine technology

Coventry micro gas turbine innovator Bladon Jets has won a £3,145,000 Regional Growth Fund award with the help of international accountancy firm Mazars.

The funding will be used at the company’s research and development facility to develop its micro gas turbine generator and automotive range.

Bladon Jets finance director Adam Le Van said the funding would be used to fund three vital elements in the company’s growth plans.

“Firstly, it will provide us with world class specialist testing facilities. Secondly, it will enable us to create 18 new high value research jobs and thirdly it will fund a detailed manufacturing study to put all the research and development into action.”

He said Bladon Jets intended to base its future UK manufacturing facilities in the West Midlands to take advantage of the region’s undoubted engineering and automotive manufacturing skills.

“The test cell facilities we will be developing will be the best in the world, and they will need world leading manufacturing facilities which will create significant numbers of skilled assembly jobs.

“We have a genuine belief that there is nowhere better to do this than Coventry and Warwickshire because of the supply chains that exist here, not only with local suppliers but also the UK divisions of major international companies.”

Bladon Jets is developing micro gas turbine technology that will enable them to build micro turbine generators one third the size of conventional piston engine units, at a comparable cost.

Mr Le Van said: “The Achilles Heel of gas turbines has always been size and cost. We can now produce power generating units that can compete with diesel and run on all manner of fuel types – from kerosene to perfume, and all kind of plant fuels, such as bio gas.

“This is a very low carbon green technology.”

And he praised the work of Mazars’ partner Ian Holder and director David Preston in helping them through the due diligence process that they had undertake to confirm that they could deliver what they had outlined in their original bid.

“It was a very difficult and challenging process because we are a pre-product, pre-revenue business and this brought significant challenges in providing the information required to ratify our bid.

“This is a unique project with none of the traditional historic demonstrable revenue streams and was a very difficult bid to quantify.

“David and Ian did a very good job and helped us manage the process to a successful conclusion,” he said.

Mr Le Van added: “As Bladon Jets continues to develop its ground breaking clean tech micro gas turbine technology for power generation and automotive range extenders, RGF funding will enable the company to accelerate the research and development of the technology and prepare for UK manufacture.

“The market for static power generators is £3.1 billion per annum and growing at ten per cent each year.. The automotive range extender market is predicted to be £0.6 billion by 2020. Bladon Jets technology is well positioned to capture a share of this market generating substantial numbers of further jobs within the company and the UK supply chain.”