UK Green Investment Bank lines up £20 mn for renewable energy plant in N Ireland

The UK Green Investment Bank has lined up a £20 million investment in a 15.8 MW combined heat and power plant being put up by The Foresight Group's in Northern Ireland.

The funding would go towards partly meeting the £81 million bill for the Evermore renewable energy plant in Derry, which was slated for construction in 2015 and which would be expected to create 220 jobs.

GCP Infrastructure Fund Limited and turnkey contractor Burmeister & Wain are co-investors in the project. Investec Bank and Eksport Kredit Fonden are involved in structuring and financing the project.

Electricity generated by the wood-fired facility would be fed to the national grid while heat output would be used by an integrated wood drying facility, which would supply fuel for new biomass boilers in Northern Ireland.

Hailing the investment, business secretary Vince Cable said it held potential for strengthening the economy.

He said, the first deal done in Northern Ireland was a landmark moment for the UK Green Investment Bank and he was confident that there would be more to come. He added, the investment would have a significant green impact, reducing carbon emissions and diverting wood from landfill.

According to GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury, not only would the project save the same amount of carbon as taking around 77,000 cars off the road, it would also make use of over 2 MT of wood, a valuable energy resource that would otherwise have gone to landfill.