New GIB fund unveils first investment in AD

Green Investment Bank fund manager Foresight has announced a £4m investment in a farm-based anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at Old Quarrington, Durham.

It is the first investment by the recently created GIB-backed £50m Recycling and Waste LP fund, unveiled by Business Minister Matthew Hancock in February.

The project will generate 3,400 MWh of electricity throughout its 20 year lifespan, enough renewable energy to power 800 households, which will be sold to the National Grid.

It will also produce 3,300 MWh of heat which will be used by an adjacent woodchip drying facility, creating an extra revenue stream for the farm.

Reflection of Demand

The AD plant will mainly be fuelled by 12,000 tonnes of silage from Quarrington Farms, but it is also capable of processing a wide range of crops and food wastes.

The AD plant is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 3,000 t CO2e per annum.

The project is eligible for subsidies from both the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) schemes.

“We’re thrilled to announce the first investment by the RAW fund,” Foresight Group investment analyst Charles Sheldon said: “The short time taken, just eight weeks, from the announcement of the fund to the completion of the first investment is a significant achievement and is a reflection of the volume of pipeline for Anaerobic Digestion, the demand for AD and the knowledge of the sector by our co-investor SQN.”

SQN investment manager Neil Roberts said: “We’re delighted to be working with Foresight Group and GIB to further expand our significant involvement in funding the AD sector of the renewables market.”

Small-Scale Projects

The RAW fund is a new fund targeting small-scale recycling and waste management projects across the UK. The £50m investment by the GIB will be matched by at least another £50m from private sector co-investors; to be managed by Foresight Group.

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

Lucinda Dann

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