GIB part of Scottish waste plant investor group

The UK’s Green Investment Bank is backing a £111m waste and recycling project alongside Foresight Group and Zouk Capital.

The UK’s Green Investment Bank (GIB) has committed a £28.25 million (€38.61 million; $42.09 million) equity investment to the construction of the £111 million Levenseat Renewable Energy energy-from-waste plant and adjacent Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) at Forth by Lanark in Scotland.

GIB’s investment was made via UK Waste & Resource & Energy Investments (UKWREI), a Foresight Group-managed fund in which GIB is a cornerstone investor. The latest deal is the eighth investment for the fund, which has now fully deployed £78 million.

In addition to equity investments from GIB, Foresight Group, Zouk Capital and waste management specialist Levenseat Limited, senior debt is being provided by Investec Bank.

A statement said the plant would be the first in the UK to combine fluidised bed gasification technology with Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), processed by the MRF. The facility will recover plastics, metals, paper and card for recycling and is forecast to recycle over 1 million tonnes of materials over its lifetime of 25 years.

During that period, the development is expected to supply electricity equivalent to the needs of nearly 18,000 homes and save 1.4 million tonnes of waste from going into landfill. Electricity will be supplied to the national grid with the heat output assisting the operation of the MRF.

The MRF is expected to become operational in January 2017, with the complete plant commencing operations in June of that year. Located near the M8 corridor, the plant will process household waste from several local authorities and commercial waste from the Glasgow and Edinburgh regions.

“This first-of-kind project is the latest innovative example of how the UK is modernising its waste management infrastructure,” said Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive of GIB, in a statement. “By increasing recycling and using the remaining waste to produce energy, the Levenseat project will make a significant contribution towards Scotland’s ‘zero waste plan’.”

GIB was launched in November 2012 with £3.8 billion in funding from the UK government and a mission to “accelerate the UK’s transition to a greener economy”. Foresight and Zouk are both fund managers with £1.3 billion and €600 million in assets under management respectively.