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John Laing in first biomass investment

Infrastructure investor John Laing has announced plans for its first investment in biomass, a £74m combined heat and power plant to be built in Speyside, Scotland.

John Laing will commit £26m in equity funding alongside the Green Investment Bank once project developer Estover Energy finances the remainder by issuing a bond.

The bond will be guaranteed by Infrastructure UK, which is part of HM Treasury.

Derek Potts, executive director for primary investment at John Laing, said: “This is an exciting investment for John Laing, not only because of the clear opportunities that the facility will create for the Speyside economy but also because this is our first investment in biomass CHP and a significant milestone in our growing presence in the renewable energy sector.”

The plant will be built near Craigellachie, Moray. It is expected to generate 87.4GWh per year of electricity, enough to power more than 20,000 homes.

It will also produce 76.8GWh of heat, which will be used to provide about 90% of the steam needed for the distillation process at a distillery Macallan is planning to build nearby.

The GIB said that the plant will be fuelled with “sustainable forestry by-product” sourced from the local area and supplied by a consortium of local growers and forest industry suppliers including Stobart Biomass Products and UPM Tilhill.

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