In the United Kingdom (UK), JLEN Environmental Assets Group Ltd (JLEN), an environmental infrastructure investment fund previously known as John Laing Environmental Assets Group Ltd, has recently announced the acquisition of a 70 percent equity stake in Bio Collectors Holdings Ltd (BCH). BCH, through its subsidiary companies, holds the rights and operational assets that make up the anaerobic digestion (AD) plant and the Bio Collectors waste collections business.
According to a statement on December 13, 2019, the consideration is made up of an initial upfront payment, including working capital, and additional deferred amounts that are subject to certain conditions being met.
The group of companies is based in Merton, London. The AD plant was commissioned in December 2013 and has subsequently been expanded through several phases. The plant has a current thermal capacity of around 10 MWth, a waste processing capacity of up to 100 000 tonnes-per-annum and predominantly produces biomethane to be injected into the national gas grid.
In addition, the plant has 1.7 MWe of power capacity through two combined heat and power (CHP) engines and is accredited under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) schemes. The Bio Collectors waste collections business collects source-separated and packaged food waste for the AD plant from a variety of commercial, industrial and local authorities located in and around Greater London utilising an increasing biogas-powered fleet.
First investment in food waste-derived biogas
The 70 percent stake in BCH has been acquired from private individuals, with the residual 30 percent retained by the existing owner who will remain active in the business going forward. The acquisition was funded by a draw-down on JLEN’s revolving credit facility.
This acquisition represents JLEN’s first acquisition into food waste fuelled anaerobic digestion, further diversifying the Company’s portfolio and increasing the total capacity of renewable energy assets in the JLEN investment portfolio to 297.9 MW.
We are pleased with JLEN’s latest investment, which presents a diversification within the anaerobic digestion sector. This acquisition of a food waste fed AD plant in London, bridges two sub-sectors of JLEN’s existing portfolio, leveraging the experience of the agricultural AD assets and the waste processing assets. The production of biogas to inject into the national grid and also to power its own fleet of collection vehicles, underlines the importance that assets such as these play in the UK’s ambition to decarbonise its energy supply. We also value the opportunity to continue to work with the existing private shareholder to drive further value in the investment in future years, said Richard Morse, Chairman of JLEN.