UK GIB invests £14.6 million in biomass plant

The soon-to-be-privatised UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) and investment company Equitix have announced that they will invest £14.6 million into a new biomass plant in Sheffield.

UK GIB invests £14.6 million in biomass plant

The Equitix managed fund Energy Savings Investments (ESI), in which GIB is a cornerstone investor, is investing £14.6 million in the project, with an additional £15 million of private capital coming from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF).

Holbrook Community Renewable Energy Centre, developed by UYE (UK) Ltd, will burn around 45,000 tonnes of waste wood per year to generate 6.5 megawatts of renewable electricity, which will be sold to GDF Suez UK on a long-term agreement.

It will be built as a combined heat and power (CHP) plant ‘ready’ with the potential to supply heat to more than 6,700 local homes and commercial properties.

Veolia Energy Services Ltd has been awarded the long-term maintenance and operations contract for the plant, the development of which is expected to create 60 jobs during its construction and a further 15 permanent positions once operational.

District heating design and build engineering firm Kantor Energy Ltd will act as the EPC Principal Contractor while VAS Energy Systems International GmbH will provide the plant’s biomass boiler and flue gas cleaning systems. Turboden Srl will supply the power generation equipment.

‘Taken five years to get this project designed, consented and funded’

Stephen Brooks, Director of UYE (UK) Limited, commented: “It has taken us over five years and almost half a million pounds to get this project designed, consented and funded and we are absolutely delighted that the UK Green Investment Bank and Equitix have had the courage and commitment to work with a local, small private company and fund this community-scale CHP ready project.

“We see that these local, community-scale energy generation projects are one of the ways to reduce carbon emissions, reduce grid losses and generate useable, sustainable and affordable heat for local communities. This project is the first in our proposed portfolio of similar developments.

“Many people told us that we would never be able to compete with the large energy generation companies, but thanks to the help, support and innovative thinking of the GIB and Equitix we have been able to fund this project and bring it through to construction.”

Ed Northam, Head of Investment Banking at GIB, added: “We are very pleased to be able to help UYE realise its vision of a highly-efficient, smaller-scale, CHP ready plant. It is a project that typifies the role of the GIB in helping developers to utilise innovative technology to create new sources of green power to cut carbon emissions and create important local benefits for communities.”

Speaking for Equitix, Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Director, stated: “Closing this deal marks a significant milestone for Equitix; it is the first community-scale biomass project in our energy efficiency portfolio and delivers beneficial carbon savings to the environment. We expect to see similar deals closing in the coming months and through these investments will continue to do what we set out to do: creating a more sustainable UK. Equitix is pleased to have achieved this close on behalf of our investors.”

This investment follows multiple recent GIB-funded projects including an MRF in Forth and a sewage heat recovery project in Galashiels.

Find out more about the UK Green Investment Bank Ltd and Equitix.

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