Kier takes 50% stake in major AD player Biogen
Construction giant Kier has entered the anaerobic digestion (AD) market by securing a 50% stake in BiogenGreenfinch, one of the sector's leading players.
Kier will invest up to £24.4m in the business and become a joint venture partner alongside BiogenGreenfinch's parent company, Bedfordia Group. BiogenGreenfinch is also rebranding itself by reverting back to its original name, Biogen, before it merged with AD specialist Greenfinch.
The new company's board will comprise three members from Bedfordia, three from Kier and two Biogen executive directors. As part of the business growth strategy, the company will be investing in new AD plants nationally with the target of having nine fully operational plants by 2017.
Kier chief executive Paul Sheffield said the move highlighted the company's commitment to the green agenda.
"We are delighted to have made the investment in Biogen, which demonstrates Kier's strategy of developing intelligent solutions for our clients. We see significant potential for the development of the business in the coming years," he said.
With this capital injection, Biogen is looking to position it as the UK's premier renewable energy from food waste company. With two AD plants in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire and a pilot scale demonstration plant in Shropshire, the company has secured a further contract to build a plant in Caernarfon and is preferred bidder for another plant in Denbighshire.
The business also has an established design and process engineering base and a R&D laboratory in Ludlow, Shropshire. It also claims to be the UK's only AD business which designs, builds and operates all its own plants.
According to Biogen chairman John Ibbett, Kier "recognised the demand" for AD as a winning renewable energy solution. He added that the company would be able to benefit from Kier's track record and skills in environmental services and construction.