Irish energy company ESB and UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) and have today made a joint commitment to invest in a new £175m renewable power facility at the Port of Tilbury, Essex.
The agreement marks ESB’s first investment in the UK’s biomass sector.
ESB and GIB are each committing £35m in a combination of equity and shareholder loans, with an additional £2m participation from technology provider Aalborg Energie Technik A/S. Senior debt funding is being provided by (EKF) Eksport Kredit Fonden, Investec and Rabobank.
The Tilbury Green Power facility is expected to generate 300 GWh of green electricity per year, enough to power more than 70,000 homes, when it is commissioned in early 2017.
Up to 370 jobs will be created during the construction phase and nearly 50 permanent jobs in on-going operations. Stobart Biomass will be providing 270,000 tonnes per year of waste wood fuel for the project, sourced from the local catchment area and processed at an onsite facility.
Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive ESB said: “ESB’s investment in Tilbury Green Power demonstrates the company’s continuing commitment to renewable electricity generation and further reducing the carbon mix in our portfolio. It complements ESB’s existing UK investments in wind and gas-fired generation.
“ESB is delighted to be making this investment in partnership with the Green Investment Bank. As the British and Irish energy markets move closer together, investments like Tilbury will be increasingly important on both sides of the Irish Sea.”
Shaun Kinsbury, Chief Executive, UK Green Investment Bank, said: “The Tilbury project is well placed to capitalise on the UK’s largest regional waste wood market, generating green electricity and creating local employment from London’s waste resources. The project is also important for marking the first investment of the Irish electricity utility ESB in UK waste and biomass infrastructure.”
Adam Gordon, Power and Infrastructure Finance, Investec Bank, said: “We are pleased to have closed another landmark deal in this sector. The project really shows that experienced, capable partners working together can find solutions to deliver complex projects.”