Green Investment Bank launches £50m fund for UK waste infrastructure

Business Minister Matthew Hancock has unveiled details of a £50m investment from the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) into a new fund targeting small-scale recycling and waste management projects across the country.

The new fund, Recycling and Waste LP (RAW), will be matched by at least another £50m from private sector co-investors; to be managed by Foresight Group. It was announced by Hancock earlier today (2 February) during a visit to the £47m Birmingham BioPower project, currently under construction in Tyseley.

When operational, the BioPower plant will divert up to 67,000 tonnes of recovered wood from landfill every year, using it to produce enough electricity to power more than 17,000 homes. It was supported by the GIB through a previous investment in a Foresight-managed fund.

“This investment by the Green Investment Bank will be used to fund biopower projects that will put the UK at the forefront of this innovative green technology, turning local waste wood to electricity,” said Hancock. “Today, I have been able to see first-hand the work that is being done to get projects off the ground.

“This state-of-the-art plant in Birmingham will be the first of its kind in the UK. It uses a new type of gasification system and will not only power 17,000 homes and recycle waste more efficiently but will also boost the local economy and create 100 local jobs.”

Range of projects

GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury said: “This new facility is a great example of the modern, advanced-technology infrastructure we need to see across the UK. It’s the first time this technology will be used in the UK and the investment will benefit the local economy, with a local small business supplying the plant with wood that would have otherwise gone to landfill. We were delighted to provide the finance that allowed the project to go ahead.

Investing our capital through funds has proven to be an important and successful part of our investment strategy, allowing us to back a wider range of smaller projects right across the UK. We’ve built a strong partnership with Foresight and look forward to it going from strength to strength.”

This new fund will be GIB’s second investment in a Foresight-managed fund. The first fund – UK Waste Resources and Energy Investments (UKWREI) – was GIB’s first investment upon becoming operational in 2012. The UKWREI fund has now fully committed its initial funding ahead of schedule, backing seven new waste and recycling projects.

The Recycling and Waste fund already has an ‘extensive pipeline’ in place.

Luke Nicholls

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