£30m waste-to-energy investment by GIB propels sector into 'new phase'

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has made a 'landmark' £30m investment in the construction of a new £60m advanced-technology Waste to Energy (WtE) plant in Hertfordshire.

The project will be the first commercial scale, Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) gasification plant to be financed by third party investors in the UK

The project will be the first commercial scale, Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) gasification plant to be financed by third party investors in the UK

It will be the first commercial scale, Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) gasification plant to be financed by third party investors in the UK and represents one of the largest investments by the GIB to date outside of wind projects.

The 10 MWe project will combine advanced technology with a merchant waste supply to produce enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 7,000 homes each year.

The gasification technology will treat 90,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste annually, supplied by two of the UK's leading established waste suppliers, Biffa and Powerday.

During its lifetime, the plant is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 900,000 tonnes. It will also increase the production of RDF feedstock, resulting in the increased pre-treatment and recycling of waste which is currently sent to landfill, and create up to 110 jobs during construction and 17 full time jobs once operational.

Work on the plant in Hoddesdon will begin shortly and it is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2017.

Landmark investment

GIB, through its fund manager, Foresight, is investing £30m in a combination of shareholder loans and equity with co-investors NOY and P3P providing £20m and £10m respectively on the same terms.

UK GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury said: "This first-of-kind, high-technology waste facility signals a new phase in the UK waste management sector. The project is a great example of innovation driven by and backed up by some great UK companies."

Foresight Group director Minal Patel commented: "This innovative facility will be making an important contribution to energy security at a national level and waste management at a local level."

Driving renewables uptake

Today's investment announcement is separate from the Recycling and Waste LP (RAW) fund unveiled by Business Minister Matthew Hancock last month. The fund consists of a £50m investment from the UK GIB to support small-scale recycling and waste management projects across the country, which will be matched by private co-investors.

The GIB has invested more than £5bn in renewable projects in the first two years since its conception in 2012. The GIB has proven to have aided the uptake in renewables, with £3 being invested by private firms for every £1 by the GIB.

Funding sustainability at Sustainability Live 2015 

The Green Investment Bank's head of sustainable finance Gavin Templeton will feature among an expert panel discussing funding sustainability at our brand new high-level Conference at Sustainability Live 2015 in April. The panel will explore how to get access to funding and the types of funding available - public and private.  

Find out more and register to attend the Sustainability Live 2015 Conference for free here. 

Lucinda Dann


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