11 April 2016 – Foresight Group ("Foresight”), a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager, has announced the investment of £3.5 million from Foresight AD EIS Fund to construct an Anaerobic Digestion ("AD”) plant on the Mapledurham Estate, near Reading in Berkshire.
- Foresight AD EIS Fund commits £3.5 million to on-farm anaerobic digestion plant from Foresight AD EIS Fund
- The 499kW plant will generate c. 3,600 MWh of renewable electricity per annum, enough to power around 880 homes while cutting greenhouse gas emissions by c. 2,000 tonnes per annum, and will utilise the heat generated by the CHP engine
- The plant will also produce a nutrient rich agricultural fertiliser for use on the Estate
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The transaction, which reached financial close on 31 March 2016, is the fourth investment made by Foresight AD EIS Fund, which raised £25 million from private investors in 2015, and is the seventh on-farm AD project in the UK backed by Foresight.
The dairy on the Mapledurham Estate has a contract to supply milk to Marks & Spencer, and this project was initially identified with the strategic support of Marks & Spencer’s "Plan A” programme, designed to help farmers explore the opportunity of producing sustainable power.
The EPC contractor responsible for construction and ongoing maintenance of the plant is BTS Biogas Ltd. ("BTS”), a subsidiary of BTS Biogas Srl/GmbH, an Italian technology provider which operates more than 185 AD plants across Europe. This is the first collaboration between Foresight and BTS which has two such plants under construction in the UK and is looking to expand its UK project pipeline.
The plant will process around 17,500 tonnes per annum (tpa) of feedstock, which will be supplied under contract by the Estate, comprising c. 7,500 tpa of maize silage mixed with c. 10,000 tpa of cattle slurry from the Estate’s dairy herd. The Estate will also perform the day to day maintenance for the plant, alongside the BTS maintenance services contract.
The plant is expected to be commissioned and operational by October 2016.
Michael Niederbacher - CEO of BTS Biogas Srl/GmbH - said: "We are proud of the confidence of Foresight for the realization of this project. For us it’s an important recognition of our ongoing commitment to provide the best technology and the highest biological and economic efficiency of our systems". "This project is very important for us because it underlines once again the consolidation of our position in the UK renewables market" concluded Bjoern Blankespoor - Managing Director of BTS Biogas Ltd.
Jamie Williams representing the Mapledurham Estate said: "The Estate is very proud to have successfully formed a partnership with BTS Biogas and Foresight to deliver this plant. The long term sustainability of dairy farming and energy production depends on collaborations of this nature.
The ever-changing landscape of Government support for these ventures has created significant challenges. However, it is very exciting that building has now started and we will soon be producing additional renewable energy on the Estate.”
Beth Watkins of Foresight said: "We are delighted to announce completion of this investment in the Mapledurham AD plant from Foresight AD EIS Fund and our first project with BTS Biogas as construction and maintenance services contractor. Foresight now looks to complete the deployment of the last of the AD EIS capital and continuing to grow and nurture its portfolio of on-farm AD investments, alongside its utility scale AD plants in and around London.”
For more information contact:
Ben Thompson, Foresight Group LLPbthompson@foresightgroup.eu +44 (0)20 3667 8155
Bjoern Blankespoor, BTS Biogas Ltdb.email@example.com+39 348 31 78 956
Jamie Williams, Mapledurham EstateJamieWilliams@gassonassociates.com+44 (0)7977 077875
About BTS Biogas Srl/GmbH ("BTS”):
BTS Biogas, the leading Italian player in the biogas industry, is active in Europe, Asia and USA in design, engineering, construction and maintenance of modular biogas power plants, with a rated capacity of 25kw to 1.5MW+. The Company, with more than a hundred employees, including biologists, technicians, chemists, agronomists and developers, handles the whole process – from the preliminary planning phase to routine and non-routine plant maintenance.
The mission and driving force of the company is the continuous improvement of the efficiency, to the benefit of a world that increasingly needs energy produced without damaging our precious environment.
About the Mapledurham Estate ("Mapledurham Estate”)
A 12th Century House and Estate that has been in the same family since 1490. Two thousand acres of farm and woodland host a number of enterprises with the 500-cow dairy at its core. The Eyston family open the house to the public through the Spring and Summer and host numerous events and shows throughout the year. A popular wedding venue along with an acclaimed history as a filming venue (notably the Eagle Has Landed), ensure the sustainability of an historic estate.
The House fronts the river Thames and a 21st Century ‘Archemedes screw’ water turbine sits adjacent to the 12th Century watermill (still producing flour) and has been generating renewable electricity for four years since its installation.
About Foresight Group LLP ("Foresight”):
Foresight Group is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.
Foresight has £1.8 billion of assets under management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).
Foresight boasts one of the UK’s leading environmental infrastructure investment teams comprising 12 investment professionals, which has led investment into c. £800 million of UK environmental assets with a waste processing capacity of more than 1 million tonnes per annum, creating 126MW of renewable energy capacity and saving more than 600,000 tonnes per annum of CO2 emissions.
Foresight manages funds cornerstoned by the UK Green Investment Bank and European Investment Bank, alongside London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) and funds raised from institutional and private investors, including Foresight AD EIS Fund.
In the 2015 New Energy and Cleantech awards, Foresight was named Company of the Year and Financier of the Year for the second year running.
Foresight has offices in London, Rome, San Francisco, Nottingham, Manchester and Guernsey.