The UK’s Green Investment Bank (GIB) and Foresight Group have committed £10.5 million to two anaerobic digestion plants in Northern Ireland.
The investments were made through Foresight’s Recycling and Waste (RAW) Fund, which GIB helped launch with a £50 million commitment in February 2015.
The RAW fund committed £8.7 million to a 3MW plant in Ballymena, which, according to GIB, will be one of the first in the world fuelled by poultry litter. Foresight committed an additional £4.4 million from its Foresight AD EIS Fund, along with an £8.7 million co-investment from Invest Northern Ireland and a £1.5 million commitment from biogas developer Xergi.
GIB and Foresight also committed £1.8 million through the RAW fund to a 0.5MW plant in County Londonderry, which processes agricultural waste to generate electricity. This project received an additional £1.8 million co-investment from SQN Capital management.
Nigel Aitcheson, a partner at Foresight, said these investments put RAW at 46 percent deployed.
Edward Northam, head of investment banking at GIB, added: “We expect to see more rural communities exploring anaerobic digestion as a way of diverting organic waste from landfill while becoming more self-sufficient.”
Foresight and GIB, which is in the midst of privatisation, have previously invested in other anaerobic and biomass projects. Before the RAW fund, Foresight launched the £78 million UK Waste and Renewable Investment Fund, which was also started with a GIB seed investment.
Most recently, GIB and Equitix teamed up earlier in June to invest £25 million in a biomass project in north Wales.