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John Laing, GIB fund UK bio

£48m of equity invested in £138m Cramlington CHP plant

John Laing, GIB fund UK bio image

UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) and John Laing Group have committed £48m of equity to a biomass combined heat and power plant in Cramlington in north-east England.

The £138m facility, being developed by Estover Energy, will generate 213GWh of electricity a year.

GIB will make a £21m investment, with John Laing investing £27m. Barclays will provide the remainder of the funding as debt, 60% of which will be guaranteed by the Danish export credit agency EKF.

The majority of the generated electricity will be bought by Statkraft under a long-term power purchase agreement. The rest will be supplied to local businesses operating in the adjacent industrial estate, namely Aesica Pharmaceuticals and MSD.

The plant will also have the potential to provide renewable heat to neighbouring facilities.

The plant will be built by a consortium of Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractors (BWSC) and Burmeister & Wain Energy.

BWSC will operate the plant upon completion under a 12-year operations & maintenance contract.

Up to 25 permanent jobs will be created to maintain the facility, with further jobs created within the project supply chain.

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

GIB head of investment banking Ed Northam said: “The Cramlington plant promises to create local jobs, support an industry whose vitality is essential to the growth of the regional economy and help cut UK greenhouse gas emissions while promoting the country’s adoption of green energy sources.”

John Laing managing director of renewable energy Ross McArthur 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.”

Image: impression of Estover's Discovery Park bio CHP plant in Kent (Estover)

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