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Investors into UK waste sector 'getting spooked’, says GIB

Waste industry investors are thinking twice about investing in the UK because of overcapacity fears and a lack of statistical clarity, says a Green Investment Bank boss.

Speaking at the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) conference (12 June), Adrian Judge, managing director waste and bioenergy UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) said there were too many projects in the pipeline and this was spooking inward investors into the UK.

“There’s always a plea for more data [on capacity], but in this case, some data out there is telling slightly conflicting information,” he said.

Judge said that stimulating co-investment in the waste sector was a GIB aim, but it has been difficult since the economic crash. Also, many waste management projects are not viable to invest in because there is a lack of thought about project risks and risk management.

As a result Judge explained that the role of the GIB is now as a kind of “marriage broker” where it looks into promising projects and try and match people with the right levels of expertise together to make the project more investible. The Government has endowed £3bn with the GIB to be invested on a for-profit basis.

However, he said: “We don’t know which ones to invest in because we don’t know which ones will get the waste supply. There are challenges in getting long-term debts for long-term assets.” Feedstock security can be required for 10-25 years at a time.

MRW recently reported on Eunomia’s report on the problems of overcapacity and the challenges of securing long-term feedstock contracts.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Another interesting article Tom. I also note that according to the press release, available from:

    "...a new study by ecoprog GmbH [anticipates]...The increasingly saturated British [incineration] market will particularly decline in the future. Today, this market still is the main stimulus of growth in Europe. It compensated the industry when the development of incineration capacities in countries such as Germany or the Netherlands had stopped. After 2015/2016 at the latest, however, the demand from the United Kingdom can be expected to gradually slow down..."

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  • That URL in full:

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  • or you can search for "Waste-to-energy market slows down" and "ecoprog"

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