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Welsh bio gets £11m GIB injection

Minority stake in Port Talbot's Western Bio-energy, upgrades in pipeline

The UK Green Investment Bank is pumping £11m into the operational 14.7MW Western Bio-energy biomass plant in Port Talbot, Wales.

The cash injection will cover an upgrade of the facility and see the institution take a minority stake.

Improvements in the pipeline include an increase in Grade A waste wood as a fuel source and a refurbishment, which is expected to take pace in summer 2014.

The investment was made by the GIB’s UK Green and Sustainable Waste and Energy Investment fund, which is managed by Greensphere Capital. Co-investment was sourced from Signia Wealth Management and Stobart.

GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury (pictured) said: “This investment will secure the long-term future of an important Welsh renewable energy plant and will improve its efficiency and sustainability.

“The Greensphere fund was set up in part to help support the UK’s waste wood biomass sector and its first acquisition of an operational asset is an important step.”

Western Bio-energy was the first commercial-scale power station of its kind in the principality and has been operational since 2008.

Greensphere has negotiated a contract with Stobart Biomass to provide feedstock for the lifetime of the plant.

Image: GIB

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