Utility Week: GIB to invest £11m into Welsh biomass plant01/10/2013
The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced it will invest £11m to purchase and upgrade an operational biomass plant in Port Talbot, Wales.
The UK Green and Sustainable Waste and Energy Investment Limited Partnership (UKGSWEI), will use the investment to hold a minority stake in the plant. The UKGSWEI fund, in which GIB is a cornerstone investor, is managed by Greensphere Capital.
Co-investment was sourced by Greensphere from Signia Wealth Management and Stobart PLC.
Shaun Kingsbury, UK GIB chief executive , said: "This investment will secure the long-term future of an important Welsh renewable energy plant and will improve its efficiency and sustainability.
“The Greensphere fund was set up, in part, to help support the UK's waste wood biomass sector and its first acquisition of an operational asset is an important step."
The 14.7 MW biomass plant, Western Bio-energy Limited was the first commercial-scale power station of its kind in Wales. It has been operational since 2008 and currently produces enough electricity to power more than 28,000 homes.
Upgrades implemented will include an increase in Grade A waste wood as a fuel source, and refurbishment of the plant. This is expected to improve operational efficiency and reduce operational risk.
Greensphere has negotiated a contract to provide feedstock for the lifetime of the plant with Stobart Biomass, which will significantly increase feedstock reliability and reduce costs.