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UK GIB invests in 5.4 MW biomass plant

By U.K. Green Investment Bank | June 01, 2016

Construction work will soon commence on a new green energy facility in Wrexham Industrial Estate, north Wales, after developers secured a commitment of £25 million ($36.03 million) from U.K. Green Investment Bank plc and Equitix.

The 5.4 MW biomass plant, the second to be developed by Liverpool-based Green Plan Energy, will generate around 34 GWh of green electricity per annum—enough to power 2,400 number of homes. It will be combined-heat-and-power (CHP) “ready,” meaning it has the potential to provide heat to neighboring manufacturing businesses.

The facility is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 6,000 metric tons CO2e every year—the equivalent of removing 2,800 cars from the road.

The Equitix-managed fund Energy Savings Investment, in which GIB is a cornerstone investor, is investing £12.25 million in the project. An additional £12.75 million of private capital has been mobilized from the parallel Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund.

Bester Generaciá½¹n U.K. Ltd., part of the Bester Group, has been appointed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor and has been awarded a long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) contract. Around 60 jobs will be created during construction of the plant, with 15 full-time positions created upon completion.

Fuel will be supplied by Hadfield Wood Recyclers with biomass specialists PBS Energo supplying the plant’s biomass boiler, flue gas cleaning system and electricity generation contract.

Power will be exported to the grid and sold to ENGIE under a long-term power off-take agreement.

Edward Northam, Head of Investment Banking, GIB, said, “Britain’s manufacturing businesses consume huge amounts of heat every year, much of it from non-renewable sources. Dual-purpose plants like Wrexham, which are capable of generating renewable electricity and heat for the benefit of local industry, play an important role in greening the UK economy. Heat isn’t just a byproduct of the electricity generation process; it is a valuable source of energy in itself.”

Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Equitix, said, “We are pleased to have reached financial close on another CHP ‘ready’ scheme in our energy efficiency portfolio. Once operational, we expect it to deliver beneficial carbon savings and make a significant contribution to the environment and creating a sustainable economy in the U.K.

Equitix is pleased to have achieved this close on behalf of our investors and we expect to close further energy efficiency deals in the coming months.