Green Investment Bank and Big Builder invest £138m in new Estover Energy biomass power plant

Architect's impression of the Estover Energy biomass plant
Architect’s impression of the Estover Energy biomass plant

Edinburgh-based UK Green Investment Bank and John Laing Group have committed £48 million of equity to a new £138 million renewable energy facility developed by Estover Energy in north-east England.

With offices in Edinburgh and London, Estover builds and manages renewable energy biomass combined heat and power plants in Scotland and England.

Since being founded in 2010 Estover has developed and financed over £200 million worth of power projects.

The new biomass combined heat and power plant in Cramlington, Northumberland, will generate 213 GWh of renewable electricity annually – enough to power 52,000 homes. It is also expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by circa 56 kt CO2e annually, the equivalent of taking 25,000 cars off the road for every year that the plant is in operation

Much of the generated electricity will be purchased by Statkraft under a long-term power purchase agreement, but electricity will be supplied to local businesses operating in the adjacent industrial estate. The plant will also have the potential to provide renewable heat to neighbouring facilities. 

Fuel for the plant will be provided by local growers and forest industry suppliers

GIB will make a £21 million investment in the project, with JLG investing in a stake worth £27 million.. Barclays will provide the remainder of the funding as debt, 60% of which will be guaranteed by the Danish export credit agency, EKF.

The construction of the plant will be undertaken by a consortium of Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractors A/S (BWSC). Up to 25 permanent positions will be created at the operational facility, with a further 20 jobs created in the project supply chain.

Ross McArthur, Managing Director of Renewable Energy at John Laing Group, said: “Our investment in Cramlington biomass CHP plant builds on the success of our partnership with Estover and GIB established on Speyside Renewable Energy plant. This exciting new project demonstrated the valuable contribution biomass can make to delivering renewable heat in the UK.”

Marcus Whately, Founder and joint Chief Executive, Estover Energy, added: “Nearly £140m invested in the Cramlington CHP plant is fantastic news for Northumberland and for Estover. It means more jobs in forestry, and a secure energy supply for industry.

“At twice the size of our first plant in Scotland, it shows Estover is becoming a real force in these long-term energy and infrastructure projects.”

See also: Estover Energy in £74m Speyside project to provide heat for the Macallan distillery


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