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ESB and Green Investment Bank support new £190m biomass power plant

The Irish energy company ESB and UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) and have announced a joint commitment to invest in a new GBP 190 million (≈ EUR 215 million) biomass power facility at the Port of Tilbury, Essex. The agreement marks ESB’s first investment in the UK’s biomass sector.

An artist’s rendering of the 40 MWe Tilbury Green Power plant in Essex (image courtesy Tilbury Green Power).

According to the statement, ESB and GIB are each committing GBP 35 million (≈ EUR 39.7 million) in a combination of equity and shareholder loans, with an additional GBP 2 million (≈ EUR  2.3 million) participation from the Danish technology provider Aalborg Energie Technik A/S. Senior debt funding is being provided by (EKF) Eksport Kredit Fonden, Investec Bank and Rabobank.

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, said Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive.

Using waste wood as fuel, the 40 MWe Tilbury Green Power facility is expected to generate 300 GWh of green electricity annually when it is commissioned in early 2017.

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, said Adam Gordon, Power and Infrastructure Finance, Investec Bank.

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.

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, said Shaun Kinsbury, Chief Executive, UK Green Investment Bank.

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