Global oil specialist secures funding to double workforce

Left to Right: Paul Gower, Finance Yorkshire, Michael Grimley, Managing Director of GSA Environmental, Alex McWhirter, Chief Executive of Finance Yorkshire

A family business that enhances environmental standards for oil refineries and power producers will double its workforce after securing a £500,000 equity boost from Finance Yorkshire.

Brigg-based GSA Environmental is a global specialist in the extraction of transition metals such as vanadium, molybdenum and nickel from oil refinery residues and power station ashes. These metals can be toxic and pose a threat to the environment.

GSA Environmental has been in operation for 13 years. It generates a turnover of £2m and employs 10 people.

Michael Grimley, Managing Director of GSA Environmental, said: “Waste catalysts and the residue from power stations and oil refineries must be handled carefully. Disposing of them can pose a number of environmental challenges and can be cost prohibitive. At GSA Environmental, we find ways to recover valuable metals such as nickel and vanadium so that they can be recycled and re-used.

“We conduct significant levels of engineering design and research work that assists clients to find a better way of working with these materials. In most cases, the refiner/power producer can realise a commercial benefit as well as the obvious environmental improvements.”

Finance Yorkshire has supported GSA Environmental’s growth plans with a £500,000 investment from its Equity Fund. The funding will enable GSA Environmental to invest in its UK-based team of engineers and plan the building of a commercial scale metal recovery plant.

Michael said: “The support from Finance Yorkshire will be invaluable as we move to the next stage of our growth. We will add another 10 permanent staff over the next three to four years.

“We also plan to design and build a new metal recovery plant in the UK. That will require significant effort to obtain project finance. The investment from Finance Yorkshire enables us to build a solid financial and environmental case for it.”

GSA Environmental has also completed an engineering assesment to build a commercial scale plant in Saudi Arabia.

Alex McWhirter, Chief Executive of Finance Yorkshire, said: “GSA Environmental has a great deal of experience in working with clients where innovative solutions can be developed to address environmental issues and helping customers to improve their environmental performance and productivity. I’m delighted that our investment will lead to the employment of more people within this region.”

Finance Yorkshire was advised by Ben Procter at Walker Morris, Leeds. GSA Environmental was advised by Paul Plaxton at Gosschalks in Hull. David Livesley, who conducted the technical due diligence for Finance Yorkshire becomes a non-executive director of GSA Environmental.

Since its inception, Finance Yorkshire has invested in more than 460 companies, enabling those businesses to increase their turnover by a collective £377 million and attract a further £273 million from private sector sources. Finance Yorkshire investment has helped those SMEs to create and safeguard more than 12,000 jobs in the region.

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, UK Government and the European Investment Bank. Finance Yorkshire is also supported by the Regional Growth Fund.

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit or call 0300 030 6060.

Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire