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Powering my way to success; Entrepreneur gets the backing of major firm.

Byline: MARTIN WILLIAMS Business Correspondent

A HYDROPOWER business will move upstream with a multi-million pound investment deal.

The injection of cash into North Wales Hydro Power will enable to the company to expand more rapidly.

The firm was founded two years ago by one of Wales''s brightest young entrepreneurs, Richard Rees.

The 24-year-old, from Rhyd-y-Foel, near Abergele, gave up to a promising career in property management to go it alone.

His decision was rewarded in December, when he received the Daily Post Achievement Wales Business Start-Up trophy in Llandudno.

According to Richard, the investment from the international Hydropol Group was a massive vote of confidence.

It will enable him to develop more hydroelectric schemes in Wales and to expand across the border into other parts of the UK.

In Wales alone, the Environment Agency has identified 396,000 kilowatts of potential capacity.

North Wales Hydro Power currently specialises in smaller hydroelectric projects of around 100 kilowatts, costing between PS400,000 and PS600,000.

The venture, which also has an office in Shrewsbury, currently employs three people and Richard is looking to recruit at least two more this year.

He said: "The investment from Hydropol is fantastic news because we are now unlimited as to the number of schemes we can do.

"When I started, the plan was to carry on with my day job at Carter Jonas and to do one or two schemes in my spare time and then things just snowballed.

"The scale of the demand meant that it was capable of occupying me full time - there is great potential for growth."

He added: "Hydropol has 20 years' experience in the industry and they have more buying power in addition to being a well established and well respected company.

"This investment means that I have more time to focus on the day to day business and on the schemes, and the good thing about hydro is that we can employ local contractors, so it''s great for the rural economy."

Hydropol Commercial Manager Petr Noscak, the newly appointed Investment director at North Wales Hydro Power, said the tie up between the two companies was a perfect fit.

He said: "It has taken a lot of effort to find the right partner in the UK.

"We understand there are many local businesses who will benefit from our partnership in terms of investment into the local economy, sustaining and creating new jobs.

"We also hope our support will allow North Wales Hydro Power to consider larger projects both in Wales and across the UK."

Another key to the success of North Wales Hydro was the help and support he's received Conwy Rural Partnership's Rural Business Support (CRBS).

Richard said: "Setting up a business is a potential minefield so their help in avoiding possible pitfalls was also important. I''m very grateful for the help I had."

CRBS project officer Anna Openshaw added: "Richard is one of Wales' brightest young entrepreneurs and we are very proud of the part we are playing in helping the company to flourish. " ? For more information about Conwy Rural Partnership's Rural Business Support, call 01492 577834/5.

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Water power: Richard Rees of North Wales Hydro Power
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 27, 2013
Words:530
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