Lending Partner to Finance Landmark UK Green Gas Project
Privilege Finance, one of the dedicated, specialist Finance Arrangers to Prestige Funds is leading a GBP 17 million project in Attleborough, Norfolk, UK which will see the town become one of the first to be supplied mainly with green gas.
The landmark green energy infrastructure project will see 100,000 tonnes of food waste collected from local households and business and processed by an anaerobic digestion plant. This will produce green gas for 4,000 homes in Attleborough.
The project includes the financing of four digestion tanks, a food waste reception hall and depackaging unit, plus a gas upgrader. Construction is anticipated to be completed in March 2022. The upgraded AD plant will produce up to 1,000 cubic metres of green gas per hour.
The project is being used to prove the concept of a sustainable circular waste-to-energy economy while also reducing the carbon footprint. The project is breaking new ground in the clean energy sector as it will see green gas piped directly into homes and businesses that are generating food waste.
It is being financed using some of the direct lending capital from several Prestige Funds including Prime Alternative Finance which is focused specifically on direct lending within the UK agricultural economy and with a bias towards impact lending within clean energy infrastructure.
“The Attleborough project is a large-scale example of what we are now regularly achieving through direct lending activity in the UK,” said Craig Reeves, founder of Prestige group. “Projects like these demonstrate the material progress our strategy is already making in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. Our investors are already seeing capital making a measurable benefit in the battle against climate change.”
“It’s a true closed loop,” comments Marc Graham, Project Development Manager at Privilege Finance. “This is unique because a typical gas infrastructure would mean household gas would come from a mix of resources but in this instance local home and business owners will be able to trace the gas production back to a renewable energy generation source.”
Methane produced from food waste and other sources is a greenhouse gas which is 28-34 times more powerful than CO2, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), inedible food waste from UK households and businesses is around 2.85 million tonnes and is associated with more than 75 million tonnes of GHG emissions.
The plant at Attleborough is a clear example of how GHG emissions can be reduced through the recycling of food waste and the capturing of the methane within the digester for processing into green gas.
Further carbon emissions savings are made by the project because all the Norfolk food waste collections are being made inside the county, reducing unnecessary waste miles associated with transporting it long distances across the country.
Prestige Funds remains one of the largest financiers to UK AD projects. An estimated 1 million UK homes now receive gas from Prestige-backed AD plants.
SOURCE: WRAP.org.uk / Privilege Finance
Favourable Macro Environment
Rising electricity prices in the UK and higher taxes on landfill are causing agri businesses to turn to green energy projects as a source of on-farm energy, utilising existing waste. The UK government also needs to source more clean energy to meet its Paris Climate Change Agreement commitments.
In 2019 the UK government announced plans to organise dedicated food waste distribution nationwide for the first time. Much of this will be used to power local anaerobic digestion plants. Universal food waste collections for households alone could achieve a carbon saving of up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. This is the same as taking 750,000 cars off the road.
Further reforms are expected to release between GBP 150-300 million of investment into AD plants in the UK over the next year, which should help to bring up to a further 30 plants online.
The number of AD plants has grown dramatically over the past ten years, with more than 600 AD plants now operational in the UK. The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) says
anaerobic digestion plants have a capacity of 861 MW, powering 1.2 million homes, representing a 20% growth in generating capacity.
SOURCE: Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) / Privilege Finance / Anaerobic-Digestion.com