GIB, Foresight commit £10.5m to two anaerobic plants

The UK's green bank and the asset manager will invest in the Northern Irish facilities as part of Foresight’s recycling and waste fund.

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.