The Green Investment Bank (GIB) has completed its first investment in Northern Ireland, supporting the construction of a biomass station in Londonderry.
Through a fund managed by Foresight, the GIB has invested £20m to build a combined heat and power (CHP) station, the Evermore Renewable Energy plant. It will be built at a 10-acre site at the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners land at Lisahally.
Business secretary Vince Cable said: “The first deal done in Northern Ireland is a landmark moment for the UK Green Investment Bank and I’m confident that there will be more to come.”
“Today’s investment will have a significant green impact, reducing carbon emissions and diverting wood from landfill. It is also good news for the local area, creating jobs and building a stronger economy.”
The Evermore Renewable Energy facility will use some 110,000 tonnes of waste wood from the construction and demolition industry to produce electricity and heat, with a capacity of 15.8MWe per year.
The electricity produced will be supplied to the national grid and the heat output will be used by an integrated wood drying facility. Feedstock for the plant will be supplied by biomass services provider Stobart Biomass.
The plant is expected to become operational in 2015, and will be the largest renewable energy project in Northern Ireland, said the GIB.
Over the 20-year lifetime of the project, the plant is forecasted to divert some 2 million tonnes of wood from landfill and deliver a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of around 3.7 million tonnes.
Alongside the GIB, Foresight also sourced investment from GCP Infrastructure Fund Limited and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor and worked alongside Investec Bank and Eksport Kredit Fonden in structuring and financing the project.
Some £81m was raised to support the project.
Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive at the UK Green Investment Bank, said: “Our mission is to crowd in private sector capital, so I’m especially pleased to see that every pound of GIB investment brought in more than £3 of private funding.
“Today’s announcement will substantially increase Northern Ireland’s renewable energy capacity. Not only will the project save the same amount of carbon as taking around 77,000 cars off the road, it will also make use of over two million tonnes of wood, a valuable energy resource that would otherwise have gone to landfill.”