Members of private investor syndicate Hotbed have invested £2.25m in Enviroparks, which is building a series of processing plants that generate energy-from-waste (EfW) products.
This is thought to be the first investment in EfW made by Hotbed, and demonstrates direct investment in the sector from private individuals. It is also one of the first Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)-eligible investments to be made since changes announced in the Budget increased income tax relief available under the scheme from 20% to 30% from April 6. The EIS is designed to help smaller higher-risk trading companies raise finance by offering tax relief to investors.
Hotbed chief investment officer Russell Pope said: “This is a great opportunity for our members to invest in the fast-growing EfW sector. This is exactly the kind of innovative business that the Government wants to encourage investment in through the EIS. It is also just the kind of investment that Hotbed members want us to present to them.
“European and UK legislation is increasingly directing local authorities away from landfill towards recycling and processing facilities, such as the advanced thermal treatment plants that will be built by Enviroparks, which go beyond burning in incinerators. In addition, many businesses are looking at how they dispose of waste, as they face growing pressure from shareholders and other investors to demonstrate their green credentials.”
The Enviroparks model integrates proven cutting-edge recycling and energy production technologies, including gasification and anaerobic digestion technology, on one site. This allows it to process more waste more efficiently and generate more useful energy output than other providers. It plans to site plants near large energy users, such as data centres or cold storage providers, which can then buy steam or heat by-products from the facility as well as electricity.
A big incentive for the Hotbed investors was the track record of Enviroparks chairman Roger Hewitt, who built Shanks Group from a £9m private, regional operator into the UK’s largest listed waste management company valued at more than £500m.
Hewitt said Enviroparks’ facilities would “benefit from all the legislative incentives designed to encourage more recycling and more efficient conversion to power”. The company has already secured planning permission for its first 24,000-tonne a year facility in Hirwaun, south Wales.