Infracapital launches bioenergy group with £160m investment

The new firm will also receive a £33m commitment from Helios and co-investment capital from Aurium and Foresight.

European infrastructure investor Infracapital is the majority shareholder in new UK-focused bioenergy platform also backed by Helios UK BIG, Aurium Capital Markets and the Foresight Group.

Infracapital is committing £160 million ($243 million; €217 million) for a 70 percent stake in the Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (BIG) alongside a £33 million investment from Helios. Aurium and Foresight are providing co-investment capital for the platform, which will focus on building UK biomass and energy from waste (EfW) plants. RBC Capital Markets advised on the new venture.

The new group’s first deal will be a 21.5MW EfW plant at Ince Park, Cheshire, which it calls the UK’s largest resource recovery park. The facility will cost £87 million to build and will produce enough electricity to power 40,000 homes once operational. It will source local waste wood under a 15-year contract and will be eligible for the outgoing 1.8 Renewable Obligation Certificates for the next 20 years.

Infracapital greenfield director Andy Matthews said the Ince Park deal “is indicative of the significant greenfield infrastructure investment opportunity in the UK and Europe, where we intend to deploy further funds in the coming months and years”.

Last October, Infracapital raised £1 billion for its second infrastructure fund, which has already made four acquisitions. Helios UK BIG is a partnership between clean energy fund manager Helios Energy Investment Group and Israel’s Phoenix Insurance Company. The platform’s last two partners include sustainable infrastructure fund manager Foresight Group and alternatives investor Aurium, which is a leading debt provider to UK renewables.

This article was first published on Low Carbon Energy Investor, Infrastructure Investor's sister publication covering energy transition markets.