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GIB backs waste wood plant on Merseyside

A proposed waste wood combined heat and power (CHP) facility on Merseyside has won the backing of the Green Investment Bank (GIB).

The 20.2MWe and 7.8MWth plant will be built within the Mersey Multimodal Gateway project, a logistics hub at Widnes.

It will be powered by 146,000 tonnes of Grade B-C recovered wood each year, sourced by Stobart Biomass Products. It will provide power to the grid and the heat off-take will be used by Stobart’s wood drying facility alongside.

The plant, due to be operational in December 2016, will be built and operated by Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC). The scheme will create more than 200 construction jobs and 20 full-time jobs once operational.

The GIB is providing £16.9m of mezzanine loans and making a £13.2m equity investment via its Foresight-managed fund, UK Waste Resources & Energy Investments.The remainder of the £42.1m mezzanine finance will come from GCP Infrastructure Investors (GCP).

Investec Bank and Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF) have together committed £42.5m of senior loans, while Stobart and BWSC will both take an equity stake with commitments of £9.8m and £2.6m, respectively.

This project has brought together the same investors who are behind the construction of the 15MW CHP Evermore renewable energy project in Northern Ireland, announced by the GIB and Foresight in July 2013.

Shaun Kingsbury, GIB chief executive, said: “This project is a great example of how we can build the next generation of energy and waste management infrastructure in a way that is green, cost-effective and highly efficient. This type of innovative infrastructure adds to our domestic electricity generation and reduces our carbon emissions.

“What is particularly important is that these projects are replicable and scalable.”

Richard Butcher, chief executive of Stobart Energy & Infrastructure, said: “This agreement secures an attractive energy investment for the group, and will make an important contribution towards achieving our target of delivering two million tonnes of fuel per annum into the UK biomass market by 2017-18. It also demonstrates the strength of our integrated infrastructure, energy and engineering capabilities.”

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