Entrepreneur Robin Parker is planning to bring NET Energy Group to AIM by raising up to £20 million.
Entrepreneur Robin Parker is planning to bring biomass hopeful NET Energy Group to AIM by raising up to £20 million for the company, which he plans in five years to build into a ‘renewable power utility’ using wood pellets to generate 50 megawatts of power a year.
Parker, the man behind erstwhile AIM computer maintenance concern PC Medics, among other ventures, says the company already has letters of intent from power companies including Drax Group, Scottish & Southern Energy and EDF of France covering 575,000 tonnes of wood pellets from late 2011, as the industry adjusts to projected government targets to increase renewables’ share of total energy use from 1.3 per cent in 2007 to 15 per cent in 2020.
Currently operating from Glastonbury in Somerset and developing sites at Scunthorpe and Bristol, with others planned elsewhere, all close to the national grid, NET is understood to have ambitious goals. Observers reckon that Parker and his chief executive officer and ex-Nomura International luminary, Kensey Green, hope to turn a possible loss of £1.5 million to £2 million in its first full year of operation into pre-tax profits of almost £40 million in year five on turnover rising from less than £7 million to more than £90 million, if it can secure funding.
With backing from non-executive director Nicholas Deterding, a landowner and former City equity sales director, the company hopes to source wood from local, UK forestry groups as well as from abroad. There is plenty of scepticism about electricity companies’ commitment to wood power – which depends on subsidies from a cash-strapped government – but, if NET’s strategy proves realistic, it could well reward a brave punt.