Foresight and UK Green Investment Bank complete £20 million Northern Ireland investment

Investment is part of £81 million project to construct the Evermore Renewable Energy  15.8MWe combined heat and power plant in Derry/Londonderry, which diverts over 2 million tonnes of wood from landfill;

The project is the first investment in Northern Ireland funded by the UK  Green Investment Bank and will be the biggest renewable energy plant in the region, increasing renewable electricity generation in Northern Ireland by around 10%;

Over its lifetime, the project is estimated to save around 3.7 million tonnes of CO2e emissions and produce enough electricity to supply the equivalent of more than 25,000 homes.

Foresight Group (Foresight) and the UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) have today announced the investment of £20 million into the construction of the Evermore Renewable Energy 15.8MWe wood fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) station to be built on a ten acre site in Derry/Londonderry at the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners land at Lisahally, in Northern Ireland.

The Foresight managed fund, UK Waste Resources & Energy Fund (UKWREI), in which GIB is the cornerstone investor, has made the investment, which is the first GIB funded project in Northern Ireland.

Foresight has sourced co-investment from GCP Infrastructure Fund Limited (GCP) and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (BWSC) and worked alongside Investec Bank plc (Investec Bank) and Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF) in structuring and financing the project.

The Evermore project, which is expected to become operational during 2015, is forecast to be the largest renewable energy project in Northern Ireland, increasing the amount of renewable electricity currently generated in Northern Ireland by approximately 10%. 

Over the expected 20 year lifetime of the project, it is forecast to supply renewable electricity equivalent to the needs of more than 25,000 homes a year, create 200 construction jobs and more than 20 full time jobs once operational. Over the project life it is forecast to save 2 million tonnes of wood from going to landfill and is expected to deliver a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of around 3.7 million tonnes.

The electricity will be supplied to the national grid and the heat output will be used by an integrated wood drying facility, supplying fuel for new biomass boilers within Northern Ireland.

The project will be fuelled by around 110,000 tonnes per annum of wood secured under a long-term fuel supply contract from Stobart Biomass. 

Shaun Kingsbury, chief executive, UK Green Investment Bank, said:
“Today’s announcement will substantially increase Northern Ireland’s renewable energy capacity.  Not only will the project save the same amount of carbon as taking around 77,000 cars off the road, it will also make use of over two million tonnes of wood, a valuable energy resource that would otherwise have gone to landfill.”
“Our mission is to crowd in private sector capital, so I’m especially pleased to see that every pound of GIB investment brought in more than £3 of private funding.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
 "The first deal done in Northern Ireland is a landmark moment for the UK Green Investment Bank and I’m confident that there will be more to come.”
 “Today’s investment will have a significant green impact, reducing carbon emissions and diverting wood from landfill. It is also good news for the local area, creating jobs and building a stronger economy.”

Andrew Page and Nigel Aitchison, Partners at Foresight Group commented:
“The Foresight deal team has worked intensely over many months with Evermore, our financing partners, and the contractors and suppliers to structure and complete this landmark investment.  This is the second investment by the UKWREI Fund, in which the Green Investment Bank is the cornerstone investor. 
This deal demonstrates that with the strong team we have built to work alongside the project developers, attractive renewable energy infrastructure investment opportunities can be structured and delivered by Foresight attractive to both banks and other institutional investors necessary to complete projects of this scale.”

Ciaran & Stephen Devine, co-founders of Evermore commented:
“We are making a serious commitment to the Northern Ireland energy market. Working with the best partners in technology, fuel supply and financing, we hope to show that Northern Ireland is a great place to do business so that further inward investment will follow.”
“This is the culmination of many years of hard work to develop and finance the largest green energy power station in Northern Ireland. Our ability to attract this level of investment into Northern Ireland is testament to our team’s commitment and skill in both project development and project financing. This now marks the start of the construction phase and with that the creation of over 200 much needed construction jobs in the North West”.

Adam Gordon of Investec Project and Infrastructure Finance, and Chris Mitman of Investec Export Finance commented:
“We’re pleased to have been a part of this landmark transaction.  It’s satisfying to reach this milestone after the intensive work put in.  As always, the project was delivered by a strong team, including our finance partner EKF, working with good project fundamentals.  We were ably assisted by various advisors including a Clifford Chance team led by Nathan Curtis.  We look forward to watching this project being delivered, and helping to realise future ventures in the sector.”

Andrew Tinkler, Chief Executive Officer for Eddie Stobart, said:
“The Stobart Biomass division is seeing increased demand for its range of products across the UK and is pleased to be working with Evermore on this key development in Northern Ireland.  The ability of Stobart Biomass to provide long term sustainable solutions was seen as a key driver with the project funders.  We look forward to finalising other opportunities already in the pipeline in the next year.”’

Londonderry Harbour Commissioners’ Chief Executive Brian McGrath said:
“We welcome this development. The location of this project at our Foyle Port facility at Lisahally demonstrates our continued strategic delivery of regionally significant industrial projects”.

Anders Heine Jensen, CEO of Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (BWSC) said:
“After four years of persistent efforts, we are very pleased to add this vital biomass project to our portfolio.  The financial crisis has led to increased demands for the soundness of projects, and we are proud that the new project lives up to today’s financial requirements. The confidence in BWSC as a trustworthy partner, financially and technically strong, has been absolutely crucial for the project.
We are now looking forward to starting up construction of the plant which will ensure reliable and efficient electricity supply to approximately 25,000 households and businesses in the region”. 

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Ronit Wolfson, Green Investment Bank: ronit.wolfson@greeninvestmentbank.com / 0131 306 0195
Ben Thompson: Foresight Group: bthompson@foresightgroup.eu / +44 (0)20 3667 8155

Notes to editors:
The project will be built and operated by BWSC, which has been responsible for the construction and operations of the 14MWe Western Wood plant in Wales since 2008.

About the Green Investment Bank (GIB)
The UK Green Investment Bank was launched in November 2012.  With £3.8 billion of funding from the UK Government, it is the first bank of its kind in the world.  It is a "for profit" bank, whose mission is to accelerate the UK's transition to a greener economy, and to create an enduring institution, operating independently of Government.
www.greeninvestmentbank.com

About Foresight
Foresight Group has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for almost 30 years. With a background in Private Equity and Venture Capital, Foresight has diversified activities and today manages institutional funds principally in European Infrastructure (Solar and PPP), Environmental and UK small cap Private Equity, including six years of specific Infrastructure experience.
Foresight has in excess of £750 million assets under management and boasts one of the UK’s leading Environmental infrastructure investment teams.  It is responsible for managing approximately £140 million of environmental assets which include the £50 million mandate from the UK Government’s Green Investment Bank for UK environmental infrastructure. Foresight also manages the £60 million Foresight Environmental Fund (FEF). 
www.foresightgroup.eu

About Evermore
Evermore Group and its subsidiary Evermore Renewable Energy are Northern Ireland based companies established in 2009.
Evermore Group is owned by Ciaran and Stephen Devine. Its purpose is to initiate, develop and finance strategic infrastructure projects across the UK and Europe. Evermore Renewable Energy was established to develop, finance, and own renewable energy projects across the UK and Europe.
The combined heat and power (CHP) plant is the first project, out of a pipeline of projects at various stages of development, to be developed and funded by Evermore Renewable Energy.
Evermore seeks out long-term strategic partners to work with and develop their projects. Evermore works to ensure they have meaningful ownership in the projects they develop and this in turn allows them to maximise shareholder returns.

About Investec Bank plc
Investec Project and Infrastructure Finance, part of Investec Bank plc advises, structures, arranges and provides financing options across a wide range of specialist infrastructure sectors. A global team of over 50 dedicated staff specialises in the power and transport and social infrastructure sectors. The team is part of Investec’s Corporate and Institutional Banking division. 
Investec Export and Agency Finance arranges financing for energy, resources, transport and telecom projects, with a focus on power and aviation.  As a project developer and lessor in its own right, Investec brings a unique perspective to the Export Finance market with a first-hand understanding of the challenges clients face in mobilising investments including equity, mezzanine and senior debt financing.
Investec is an international, specialist banking group providing a diverse range of financial products and services to a client base in three principal markets, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia, as well as certain other geographies.
For more information, visit www.investec.com

About Eksport Kredit Fonden (“EKF”)
"EKF strengthens the competitiveness of small and large Danish companies. As Denmark’s official export credit agency, EKF helps the foreign customers of Danish companies obtain financing and thus make it attractive for them to place orders in Denmark. EKF is part of the Danish state and is operated as a modern financial institution on commercial terms. In 2012, EKF helped create or maintain more than 17,500 Danish jobs.

About GCP
GCP is an open-ended investment company that seeks to generate returns from senior and subordinated infrastructure debt and related and/or similar assets. GCP achieves this by investing in loans secured against long dated, public sector-backed cash flows and offers partial inflation protection. The majority shareholder of GCP is GCP Infrastructure Investments Limited (“GCPIIL”), which is a closed-ended investment company incorporated in Jersey, admitted to the Official List and to trading on the London Stock Exchange's Main Market. GCP and GCPIIL are advised by Gravis Capital Partners LLP.
www.gcpuk.com/gcp-infrastructure-fund-ltd

About BWSC
Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC) is a world-leading turnkey developer, contractor, operator and service provider of medium and large-scale biomass, biogas and diesel power plants. Over the past 30 years, BWSC has delivered more than 170 power plants to 52 countries in the world. BWSC is currently constructing, operating or servicing power plants in, among others, Suriname, Kenya, Panama, Lebanon and the UK. In the region Lincolnshire in the Eastern part of the UK, BWSC is currently constructing one of the world’s largest straw-fired biomass plants with expected start-up of commercial operation during 2014.
www.bwsc.com