UK Green Investment Bank closes first deal in Northern Ireland alongside Foresight Group

An investment of £20 million by Foresight Group and the UK Green Investment Bank will be used to build a wood fuelled combined heat and power station in Northern Ireland.

A project which is forecast to be the largest renewable energy project in Northern Ireland by 2015 has secured the capital it needs for development.

The Evermore Renewable Energy wood fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) is being financed by Foresight Group through its managed fund the UK Waste Resources & Energy Fund.

Entering the £20 million funding round alongside Foresight Group are GCP Infrastructure Fund and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor, taking the total round to £81 million. Foresight reveals it has also worked alongside Investec Bank and Eksport Kredit to structure and finance the cleantech project.

The investment marks the first time that the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has funded a project in Northern Ireland.

Back in June, the UK GIB revealed that it was bolstering its cash pile by £800 million – taking its total funds available to £3.8 billion.

Speaking at the first annual review event for the government green capital scheme, business secretary Vince Cable said that the GIB would be able to borrow up to £500 million of the £800 million from the National Loans Fund (NFL). As part of the commitment to lend more, Cable also revealed that the GIB has already allocated £635 million through 11 deals, with a total value of £2.3 billion through private sector additions.

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Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive of the UK GIB, comments, ‘Not only will the project save the same amount of carbon as taking around 77,000 cars of the road, it will also make use of over two million tonnes of wood, a valuable energy resource that would have otherwise gone to landfill.

‘Our mission is to crowd in private sector capital, so I’m especially pleased to see that every pound of GIB investment brought in more than £3 of private funding.’

It is predicted that the Evermore project will increase the amount of renewable electricity currently generated in Northern Ireland by around 10 per cent and that, over an expected 20 year lifetime, it will supply the renewable electricity needs of some 25,000 homes a year.

Cable adds, ‘The first deal done in Northern Ireland is a landmark moment for the UK Green Investment Bank and I’m confident that there will be more to come.

‘[The] investment will have a significant green impact, reducing carbon emissions and diverting wood from landfill. It is also good news for the local area, creating jobs and building a stronger economy.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.