The Green Investment Bank was rebranded to GIG after it was purchased by Australian bank Macquarie in August. Now the GIG has made its first ever investment under its new private ownership, pledging £38m to the EfW plant in West Yorkshire.

The £38m in finance will support construction of Wheelabrator Tecnologies’ Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 EfW plant, which will have an operational capacity of 70MW to generate electricity for the region.

GIG’s head Edward Northam said: “This first transaction under Macquarie ownership builds upon our well-established investment strategy. Working with Wheelabrator Technologies, we have helped finance the construction of major new energy infrastructure in West Yorkshire and facilitated the continued growth of the UK merchant energy-from-waste market.”

The investment forms part of a wider £207m senior debt facility issued by a syndicate of lenders including MUFG, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, Investec Bank plc and Banco de Sabadell S.A. The syndicate will fund Wheelabrator Technologies’ stake in the project, which is being developed as part of a 50:50 joint venture with SSE.

The Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 EfW plant will be located adjacent to a sister Efw plant next to a recently decommissioned coal-fired power station. When combined, the two plants will form the largest EfW site in the UK.

£3bn target

The UK Government completed the sale of the Green Investment Bank to Macquarie in April for a sum of £2.3bn. The takeover was formally completed last month, and Macquarie vowed to keep the bank at the forefront of the UK’s low-carbon transition.

The first investment from GIG will likely ease concerns over asset stripping. Reports had emerged suggesting that Macquarie had lined up a series of potential buyers for the bank’s most valuable assets, which include wind farms and biomass plants. 

Macquarie Capital Europe’s head of energy and infrastructure Mark Dooley said: “The key measure of GIG’s success will be in making or arranging new investments. We have set ourselves an ambitious target of leading £3bn of investment in green energy projects over three years and the completion of this transaction under Macquarie ownership is our first step.”

Matt Mace

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