Ambitious AD start-up firm secures royal approval

The Prince of Wales and Sainsbury's are among a consortium of investors who are backing a new anaerobic digestion (AD) enterprise which plans to build over 40 plants in the UK over the next five years.

AD start-up firm Tamar Energy was officially launched last week and will receive over £65m in funding from its backers to build 100MW of organic waste-fuelled green power capacity.

The project brings together UK and international blue chip partners and investors whose input and expertise will help develop the business.

The consortium is led by RIT Capital and Fajr Capital, alongside the Duchy of Cornwall, Lord Rothschild’s Family Interests, Sustainable Technology Investments, Low Carbon, the management team of Tamar Energy and other private investors.

Sainsbury’s says it will draw on its experience as an “AD retailer” to provide expertise to the venture. The retailer has a clear zero food waste to landfill policy, with all surplus food waste from stores either going to charities or to AD.

As part of the deal, Sainsbury’s will also work with its suppliers to ensure that they have access to Tamar’s new AD plants, which will help reduce waste in the supply chain.

Commenting on the scheme, Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King said: “We will be working closely with our suppliers to ensure they have access to the new plants to help them reduce the environmental impact of their operations, a key strand of our 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan.”

The project has also been endorsed by the Government. New Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “Getting new investors to come into the clean energy market is one of my priorities. The consortium behind Tamar is a prime example of this, combining familiar high street names with big international investors.”

Tamar Energy will be headed up by Alan Lovell as executive chairman. Lovell was previously chief executive of Infinis, which produces some 10% of the UK’s renewable energy.

The company will be strengthened by the acquisition of Adgen Energy, which has an advanced pipeline of projects and a strong management team, including the previous CEO of BiogenGreenfinch, the AD specialist.

Maxine Perella

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