miscellaneous

Iona Capital closes second Welsh AD contract

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Iona Capital has invested in Biogen Waen Ltd, a Joint Venture company established with Biogen (UK) Ltd which will construct and operate a new 22,500 tonnes per annum AD plant at Waen, St Asaph, Denbighshire
Iona Capital closes second Welsh AD contract

The plant will process the food waste supplied by the Councils from local households and businesses together with additional third party food waste and the deal is worth some £7 million. The awarded contract is for 15 years and has a secured waste stream provided by the Consortium of Denbighshire County Council, Conwy County Borough Council and Flintshire County Council.

This is Iona’s second investment in the development of Welsh AD infrastructure under the Welsh Government's sponsored organic waste program. The contract will be between the Councils and Biogen Waen with the term being 15 years with an option to extend for a further 5 years. It guarantees a supply of food waste to the facility at a fixed price and takes advantage of the government’s renewable incentive scheme.

The AD plant will process food waste to generate 1MWe of renewable energy for the national grid, and produce a biofertiliser for local farmlands. This plant will provide sufficient power for 1,500 homes continually for a year.

This type of technology is a recognised solution to the UK Government's stated objectives in complying with both EU landfill targets and de-carbonising the UK electricity market and the electricity generated will benefit from premium selling prices through the Feed-in Tariff scheme.

“This is a second project we have completed in Wales and we are delighted to have worked successfully again in partnership with Biogen and the Welsh Government” said Nick Ross, Director of Iona Capital. “These projects are the first local authority backed schemes focussed on Anaerobic Digestion and we are pleased to have been able to support such an innovative regional infrastructure program.”

Biogen is responsible for the design, build, ownership and operation of 16 anaerobic digestion plants to date and provides food waste treatment services to a wide range of customers including major food retailers, food producers, and many local authorities across England and Wales. The company currently operates 2 food waste anaerobic digestion plants in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire which process a combined total of 89,000 tonnes of food waste. The plants generate enough electricity for over 6,000 homes continually for a year and a valuable fertiliser for farmland.

Iona Capital provides equity and subordinated debt into waste projects which have a renewable element. This may include the production of methane gas for conversion into electricity or heat and the recovery of recyclable materials. The company develops strategic partnerships and uses sector-specific expertise and financial skills to achieve profitable growth for their investors who range from individuals to large local authority pension funds.

Further information:

Iona Capital Ltd

Biogen

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Steve Last
In summer 2018, an article in the Times suggested that "the magic has gone from biogas", with the point made that a lot of the original biogas plants are being sold, the one in this article. The inference was that these sales were due to low profits/ technical problems and falling gate fees. Whilst some have suffered in this way the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association has issued a contrary view, that being that the industry overall remains healthy. In fact, they suggest that selling off of AD plants is quite normal as their owners seek to make best use of their capital. Many AD plant owners have continued to operate them, while they have built new capacity and upgraded their older AD plants, presumably using capital freed up in this way. Opinions vary, but we tend to agree with the ADBA view, as exemplified in this article; https://anaerobic-digestion.com/anaerobic-digestion-plants-opportunity/
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