Infracapital leads investment platform for UK biomass

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Infracapital leads investment platform for UK biomass

Infracapital, the infrastructure investment arm of M&G Investments, Aurium Capital Markets LLP, Foresight Group LLP, and Helios UK BIG L.P., have  announced the launch of the Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (BIG), a platform established to invest in the construction of biomass and Energy from Waste (EfW) plants in the UK.

Cornerstone investor Infracapital has committed £160 million to take a 70% stake in the vehicle alongside a £33 million investment from Helios and co-investment from Aurium and Foresight. RBC Capital Markets acted as sole financial advisor on the offering.

BIG launches with an agreement to construct a 21.5MW EfW plant at Ince Park, Cheshire, the UK's largest resource recovery park. The plant, with a construction value of £87 million, has a 15 year feedstock contract in place to supply locally-sourced waste wood, and will provide enough electricity to power 40,000 homes once operational. The plant will benefit from 1.8 Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs), qualifying under the one year grace period for accredited projects, providing a 20 year inflation linked tariff. BIG and its backers are aiming to invest in other attractive biomass and EfW assets using its committed capital and potential further capital raises.

With a growing need for renewably sourced, reliable power generation in the UK, BIG will deliver further investment in greenfield renewable energy projects, while creating jobs and economic growth.

Andy Matthews, Greenfield Director, Infracapital, said:

"We're delighted to invest in the BIG platform, and look forward to working with our partners Foresight Group, Aurium and Helios to develop its extensive and exclusive pipeline of projects across the UK. The deal is indicative of the significant greenfield infrastructure investment opportunity in the UK and across Europe, where we intend to deploy further funds in the coming months and years."

Hamish McPherson, Chief Executive Officer of BIG, said:

"This investment offers us a great opportunity to create an investment platform of scale in the rapidly growing bioenergy market, and we are excited to bring together a group of such experienced investors to launch this vehicle and establish it as a key player in the sector."

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