GIB and Equitix put £25m toward North Wales biomass project

The UK Green investment Bank and Equitix have used money from two energy efficiency funds to finance the construction of a 5.4MW biomass project.

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) and sustainable investor Equitix have teamed up to commit £25 million for a biomass project in a town in north Wales.

The investment will help the Liverpool-based company Green Plan Energy develop a 5.4MW combined heat and power plant in Wrexham, a project that will generate enough electricity to power 2,400 homes.

The investment was made from two Equitix-managed funds. The Energy Savings Investment (ESI) fund, which is primarily backed by GIB, invested £12.25 million. The ESI fund was established to invest in projects that are used outside private residences.

The Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF) contributed £12.75 million. The EEEF was established parallel to ESI to invest in energy efficiency projects across the UK. It held final close in April 2015 at £151.5 million.

Equitix and GIB completed a similar deal in March, when they invested close to £10 million in a biomass plant and district heating network in northern Scotland through its ESI and EEEF funds.

The two have also partnered for other energy efficiency projects in the UK. In 2013 and 2014, they funded the installations of biomass boilers in distilleries in Scotland for £576,733 and £5 million respectively. In 2015, they invested £5 million in Boxed Energy Limited to improve the heating systems of 1,100 homes with the installation of biomass and gas boiler systems.

The GIB was launched in 2012 as the UK government’s finance vehicle to invest in sustainable projects and has since deployed around £2.6 billion ($3.7 billion; €3.4 billion). The UK announced in March it would sell its green bank and shortlisted three bidding consortiums last week.

The UK government hopes to sell at least 75 percent of the GIB, according to sources.