Banking giant Santander snaps up 50% of biomass scheme

Half of a Welsh 'zero carbon' energy project has been bought by banking giant Santander in what is being seen as a massive boost for the UK biomass industry.

Welsh Power said today (November 30) it had sold a 50% stake in its planned 47MW biomass project, called as Nevis Power, to the Spanish financial group.

The aim for Nevis Power, according to the two businesses, is to create a green power plant using renewable biomass, primarily around 380,000 tonnes of wood chip and energy crops, to supply energy to an estimated 50,000 homes in Newport.

According to the people behind the scheme, located in Newport docks in South Wales, the sustainable fuel used will 'provide a zero carbon eco footprint' for the project.

The scheme has full planning permission and construction is due to get underway as soon as financial elements of the deal are closed.

Santander executive director, asset and capital structuring, Oliver Alexander, said: "We are really pleased to have the opportunity of partnering in the development of Nevis with the highly experienced management team at Welsh Power and are looking forward to working with them, bringing our financial expertise to deliver a successful outcome for the development and construction of Nevis."

Welsh Power chief executive, Alastair Fraser, added: "Having a company of the status and quality of Santander choosing to partner Welsh Power on the development of Nevis is excellent news."

Luke Walsh


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