Business Minister, Matthew Hancock MP, announced on Monday a £50 million investment by the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) into a new fund targeting smaller-scale recycling and waste projects across the UK.
The new fund - Recycling and Waste LP (RAW) - will be managed by Foresight Group LLP which will raise at least a further £50m from private sector co-investors to match GIB's investment. The fund already has an extensive pipeline in place.
The new funding was announced during a visit to the Birmingham BioPower project, currently under construction in Tyseley, by developer Carbonarius. The construction of the £47m project is well advanced and the facility will, when operational, divert up to 67,000 tonnes of recovered wood from landfill every year, using it to produce enough electricity to power more than 17,000 homes. The recovered wood will be supplied by local small business, JM Envirofuels Ltd.
The Tyseley project was supported by GIB through a previous investment in a Foresight managed fund. Details of the seven projects supported by that fund are set out below.
Business Minister, Matthew Hancock MP said:
This investment by the Green Investment Bank will be used to fund biopower projects that will put the UK at the forefront of this innovative green technology, turning local waste wood to electricity. Today I have been able to see first-hand the work that is being done to get projects off the ground. This state of the art plant in Birmingham will be the first of its kind in the UK. It uses a new type of gasification system and will not only power 17,000 homes and recycle waste more efficiently but will also boost the local economy and create 100 local jobs.
This new facility is a great example of the modern, advanced-technology infrastructure we need to see across the UK. It's the first time this technology will be used in the UK and the investment will benefit the local economy, with a local small business supplying the plant with wood that would have otherwise gone to landfill. We were delighted to provide the finance that allowed the project to go ahead.
Investing our capital through funds has proven to be an important and successful part of our investment strategy, allowing us to back a wider range of smaller projects right across the UK. We've built a strong partnership with Foresight and look forward to it going from strength to strength.
The Birmingham BioPower project is a real example of how the first fund we've managed on behalf of GIB can create not only sustainable, skilled jobs but also contribute to the UK's needs in terms of energy security and waste management. We firmly believe that the second fund announced today can build on this success and continue the momentum of investment in this important element of the infrastructure sector.