2 July 2008 - Foresight Group ("Foresight”), a leading alternative asset manager, announced today that it has completed an investment of £1.75 million in Silvigen Ltd, a UK based producer and supplier of biomass fuels for use in the power industry. Foresight’s investment will finance the development of Silvigen’s biomass processing plant in Goole, North Humberside, as well as providing working capital to support the company’s future growth plans.
Silvigen was established in 2005 as a provider of consultancy services to the power industry on fuel processing and biomass fuel supply. In 2006, the company successfully completed trials designed to perfect the processing of wood into a suitable fuel for co-firing in coal-fired power stations. Silvigen has secured long term contracts with a major UK power generator to supply a variety of biomass fuels over the next 10 years and beyond. The company is in negotiation with a number of other UK power generators and large industrial businesses looking to increase their use of biomass fuels in order to reduce carbon emissions.
One of Silvigen’s contracts is for the establishment of a Short Rotation Forestry (SRF) programme that produces biomass fuel from fast growing tree species. This provides high timber yields from low grade land, unsuitable for food crops, which are greatly in excess of yields obtained from existing energy crops. Silvigen is recruiting landowners to establish new energy forest plantations that can produce financially attractive returns in as little as four years.
Giles Whitman, Investment Manager at Foresight, comments:
"Silvigen has positioned itself to serve the growing biomass fuel needs of the UK power generation sector and the developing industrial heat sector. The fact that the company has already secured contracts with a major UK power generator is testament to its expertise and the strength of its offering and we believe that a number of other large power generators and industrial customers will follow suit over the coming years. ”
The investment in Silvigen is Foresight’s fourth investment in the cleantech infrastructure space this year, further boosting its reputation as a leading investor in the sector.
For further information, please contact:
Annabel O’Connor / Ashleigh Lezard
+44 (0)20 7307 5330
Notes to editors:
Foresight Group is a leading alternative asset manager focused on investing in European unquoted companies across a number of key sectors including cleantech infrastructure and technology.
Foresight Group currently manages around £180 million across a number of funds. These include The Foresight UK Sustainable Investment Fund, a £22.5 million EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) fund which focuses on investments in cleantech infrastructure, and four Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).
Recent investments made by Foresight have included Closed Loop Recycling, the UK’s first recycler of waste plastic bottles back into food packaging material: O-Gen UK Ltd, which generates renewable electricity from waste wood which otherwise would have gone to landfill; Land Energy, a producer of wood pellets, to fund the development of wood pellet production plants; AWP Environmental, which converts potentially dangerous industrial wastes into renewable electricity using an advanced gasification technology that avoids harmful emissions; and Lynwood, which collects waste materials from manufacturers of a variety of plastic products and remoulds this into useful products. The company also has a significant investment in Iskra, a manufacturer of tree-sized wind turbines.