Foresight, UK GIB back 10 MW gasification plant

By U.K. Green Investment Bank | March 05, 2015

Foresight Group and the U.K. Green Investment Bank plc have announced a £30 million ($45.69 million) investment in the construction of a new £60 million advanced-technology waste-to-energy (WtE) gasification facility in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.

The project represents a new phase in the development of the U.K. waste market with advanced technology combined with a merchant waste supply. It will be the first commercial scale, refuse derived fuel (RDF) gasification plant to be construction financed by third party investors.

The gasification technology, which will treat commercial and industrial waste, will be designed by Biomass Power Ltd., with Bouygues Energy & Services acting as EPC and O&M contractor.

Over its lifetime, this state-of-the art gasification facility is forecast to:
- supply renewable electricity equivalent to the needs of more than 7,000 homes each year;
- deliver a lifetime reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 900,000 metric tons, equivalent to taking nearly 16,000 cars off the road each year;
- increase the production of RDF feedstock, resulting in the increased pre-treatment and recycling of waste which is currently sent to landfill; and
- create up to 110 engineering, construction and project management jobs and 17 full time jobs once operational.

The 10 MWe plant, developed by AssetGen Partners, will be powered by more than 90,000 metric of RDF sourced from the commercial and industrial sectors and supplied by two of the U.K.’s leading established waste suppliers, Biffa and Powerday.

The plant is to be constructed 22 miles north east of London. Work on the plant will begin shortly and it is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2017.

GIB, through its fund manager, Foresight, is investing £30 million in a combination of shareholder loans and equity with co-investors NOY and P3P providing £20m and £10m respectively on the same terms.

GIB’s investment through Foresight is in addition to the recently announced Recycling & Waste LP (RaW) fund, which will target smaller waste and recycling projects up to a total value of £30m.

Business Secretary Vince Cable MP, said, “This latest investment by the Green Investment Bank in a gasification plant in Hertfordshire will use technology and parts sourced from British companies and create more than 100 local jobs. Renewable energy is the future and when this plant is operational it will power over 7,000 homes each year. The Green Investment Bank is at the heart of our industrial strategy, creating sustainable long term jobs and growth.”

Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive of GIB, said, “This first-of-kind, high-technology waste facility signals a new phase in the U.K. waste management sector. The project is a great example of innovation driven by and backed up by some great U.K. companies.”

Minal Patel, director at Foresight Group, commented, “The Foresight team has worked over many months with our financing partners, our contractors and suppliers to structure and complete this landmark investment, which is the first project finance investment into a utility scale merchant waste RDF fuelled gasification project in the U.K. This innovative facility will be making an important contribution to energy security at a national level and waste management at a local level.”