GIB investment set to increase NI renewable electricity by 10%
The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) and investment firm Foresight have invested £20m into the construction of a wood fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) station to be built in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
The project, which is expected to become operational during 2015, is forecast to be the largest renewable energy project in Northern Ireland, increasing the amount of renewable electricity currently generated in Northern Ireland by approximately 10%.
Over the expected 20 year lifetime of the project, it is forecast to save 2 million tonnes of wood from going to landfill and is expected to deliver a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of around 3.7 million tonnes.
The project, called the Evermore CHP project, is also forecast to supply renewable electricity equivalent to the needs of more than 25,000 homes a year, create 200 construction jobs and more than 20 full time jobs once operational.
The electricity will be supplied to the national grid and the heat output will be used by an integrated wood drying facility, supplying fuel for new biomass boilers within Northern Ireland.
The project will be fuelled by around 110,000 tonnes per annum of wood secured under a long-term fuel supply contract from Stobart Biomass.
GIB's chief executive Shaun Kingsbury, said: "Today's announcement will substantially increase Northern Ireland's renewable energy capacity. Not only will the project save the same amount of carbon as taking around 77,000 cars off the road, it will also make use of over two million tonnes of wood, a valuable energy resource that would otherwise have gone to landfill.
"Our mission is to crowd in private sector capital, so I'm especially pleased to see that every pound of GIB investment brought in more than £3 of private funding."
Source: UK Green Investment Bank
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The first deal done in Northern Ireland is a landmark moment for the UK Green Investment Bank and I'm confident that there will be more to come.
"Today's investment will have a significant green impact, reducing carbon emissions and diverting wood from landfill. It is also good news for the local area, creating jobs and building a stronger economy."