Coleraine’s ATG Group is helping Lidl break new ground on a store site in Latvia

A Coleraine environmental services company ATG Group is helping supermarket firm Lidl break new ground on a store site in Latvia.

By Claire Cartmill
Thursday, 13th January 2022, 3:00 pm

The ATG Group is using innovative and eco-friendly technology to lock in contaminates in the soil where a supermarket will be built in the capital city of Riga.

ATG Group’s work means remediation techniques are being used for the first time in the Baltic country, which will prevent pollution entering a canal.

The work being carried out means contaminated soil does not need to be transported, which is the usual method. As a result, it is reducing Lidl’s carbon footprint by cutting 324,000kg of CO2 emissions.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Dr Mark McKinney chatting with VentEko’s CEO Arta Bažovska and Lidl Latvija Board member Arunas Dzikas

Lidl called in Coleraine-based ATG Group to help deal with the polluted site where the groundwater is contaminated.

Using a method developed by the Loughanhill Industrial Estate-based firm will massively reduce the amount of dissolved metals reaching the nearby Sarkandaugava canal.

Excavation of the site was also ruled out because almost 28,9000 cubic metres of soil are exposed to waste oil.

Underground blocking and filtering walls are being created to help clean pollution from more than 52,000 tons of soil.

Working on-going at the site in Latvia

ATG Group is working with Riga-based VentEko on the project, which is the first time the Coleraine-based company has worked in Latvia.

Managing director Dr Mark McKinney, said: “The Lidl contract has been an exciting project to be involved with. It highlights the challenge of developing contaminated brownfield sites and demonstrates how our innovative techniques can make a world of difference. Keeping in mind that there are 28,900 m3 of polluted soil involved, removing it all would require digging enough soil to fill almost 12 Olympic sized swimming pools.

“This amount of soil weights around 52,020 tons. If we wanted to remove this soil to some spot outside Riga just 15km away, we would need about 3,468 round trips by lorries, which is a total of 104,040 km!”

Mikus Ķīsis, Lidl Latvia’s head of real estate, added: “This international groundwater remediation project is only the first step in Lidl’s project for redevelopment and regeneration of this land plot. Inhabitants of Sarkandaugava will benefit from a cleaner and well-maintained store area.”

ATG Group was formed in 2006 by Dr Mark McKinney. The firm was awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in 2020.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Thank you