New platform closes on £200m waste-to-energy deal

The deal is the second secured by the UK’s BIG, a biomass-focused platform launched last month by Infracapital, Helios, Aurium and Foresight.

Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (BIG), a joint venture established to build and operate biomass plants in the UK, has reached financial close on a large-scale waste-to-energy project in Hull, East Yorkshire.

The £200 million (€287 million; $307 million), 25 megawatt (MW) facility is the second backed by BIG since the platform was launched on 1 October. BIG counts London-based Infracapital as a cornerstone investor, with Aurium, Helios and Foresight Group also owners of a stake in the business.

The plant, to be christened Energy Works Hull, has already secured a power purchase agreement and a Contract for Difference (CfD), the latest incarnation of government support to renewable energy projects. Both agreements have 15-year tenures.

Energy Works Hull is the first waste-to-energy plant to reach financial close with a CfD, BIG said a statement.

The deal follows the company’s debut investment in the 21.5MW Ince Biopower waste wood to energy plant in Cheshire. It is part of an exclusive pipeline BIG is currently working on, with several projects expected to come to fruition over the next two years.

Infracapital launched its greenfield unit, headed by ex-3i Infrastructure partner Andy Matthews, in April 2014. The team invests on behalf of parent group Prudential, outside of the firm’s existing funds.

The division’s maiden deal consisted of a £100 million equity commitment to the £1 billion Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, which was followed by a £20 million investment in Gigaclear, a company focused on bolstering broadband connectivity in the UK’s rural areas.

Infracapital has spent £160 million on a 70 percent stake in BIG, alongside a £33 million investment by Helios. Aurium and Foresight are providing co-investment capital for the platform.