GIB invests in North West's largest waste wood plant

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) will provide £16.9m of mezzanine loans and a £13.2m equity investment for one of the UK's largest waste wood processing plants.

The plant will provide power to the grid and the heat off-take will be used by Stobart's wood drying facility nearby

The plant will provide power to the grid and the heat off-take will be used by Stobart's wood drying facility nearby

The 20.2MWe and 7.8MWth combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Merseyside, expected to be operational in December 2016, will produce 150GWh of net electricity per year and save around 1.3m tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime.

The plant will be powered by 146,000 tonnes per year of grade B-C recovered wood, sourced by infrastructure and support services company Stobart Biomass Products Limited, and will provide power to the grid, with the heat off-take being used by Stobart's wood drying facility nearby.

Other investors in the £110m project are GCP Infrastructure Investors (GCP), Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (BWSC A/S), Stobart Group, Investec Bank, and Environmental Key Fund (EKF).

Next generation

UK Green Investment Bank chief executive Shaun Kingsbury said: "This project is a great example of how we can build the next generation of energy and waste management infrastructure in a way that is green, cost-effective and highly efficient. This type of innovative infrastructure adds to our domestic electricity generation and reduces our carbon emissions.

"What is particularly important is that these projects are replicable and scalable. The Widnes project has been brought together by the team that supported a similar project in Northern Ireland and I hope we will see many more."

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "This investment in one of the largest green power plants in the UK will create more than 200 local jobs, cut greenhouse gas emissions and generate enough renewable energy to power 35,000 homes a year.

"The project would not have happened without the Green Investment Bank - it is at the heart of our industrial strategy, improving energy efficiency through innovation and creating sustainable jobs and growth."

Earlier this month, GIB gave its financial backing to a new waste treatment facility and anaerobic digestion (AD) plant North Yorkshire.

Lois Vallely


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