ESB & UK Green Investment Bank support new £190m renewable electricity plant

  • Joint investment by ESB and UK Green Investment Bank
  • First investment by Irish Energy Company ESB in the UK bioenergy sector
  • Waste wood plant to produce over 300GWh of electricity annually, enough to power more than 70,000 homes

Irish energy company ESB and  UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) and have today made a joint commitment to invest in a new £190m renewable power facility at the Port of Tilbury, Essex.

The agreement marks ESB’s first investment in the UK’s biomass sector.

ESB and GIB are each committing £35m in a combination of equity and shareholder loans, with an additional £2m participation from technology provider Aalborg Energie Technik A/S. Senior debt funding is being provided by (EKF) Eksport Kredit Fonden, Investec and Rabobank.

The Tilbury Green Power facility is expected to generate 300GWh of green electricity per year, enough to power more than 70,000 homes, when it is commissioned in early 2017.

Up to 370 jobs will be created during the construction phase and nearly 50 permanent jobs in on-going operations. Stobart Biomass will be providing 270,000 tonnes per year of waste wood fuel for the project, sourced from the local catchment area and processed at an onsite facility.

Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive said: “ESB’s investment in Tilbury Green Power demonstrates the company’s continuing commitment to renewable electricity generation and further reducing the carbon mix in our portfolio. It complements ESB’s existing UK investments in wind and gas-fired generation.

“ESB is delighted to be making this investment in partnership with the Green Investment Bank. As the British and Irish energy markets move closer together, investments like Tilbury will be increasingly important on both sides of the Irish Sea.” 

Shaun Kinsbury, Chief Executive, UK Green Investment Bank, said: “The Tilbury project is well placed to capitalise on the UK’s largest regional waste wood market, generating green electricity and creating local employment from London’s waste resources. The project is also important for marking the first investment of the Irish electricity utility ESB in UK waste and biomass infrastructure.”

Adam Gordon, Power and Infrastructure Finance, Investec Bank, said: “We are pleased to have closed another landmark deal in this sector. The project really shows that experienced, capable partners working together can find solutions to deliver complex projects.”



Notes to editors

About Electricity Supply Board (ESB)

ESB is a leading independent power generator in the UK market, as well as Ireland’s premier power company with an asset base in excess of £8.5Bn.

ESB has a track record of over 20 years as a successful investor in the UK since ESB commissioned one of the first independent power generation plants at Corby in Northamptonshire in 1994.

ESB is currently building new gas-fired combined cycle generation in the UK with our investment in Carrington in Manchester.  Carrington will be capable of generating enough electricity for 1.5 million homes and should come online in the first half of 2016.

On March 10 ESB received planning permission for a large gas-fired generation plant in Knottingley, North Yorkshire.

About the UK Green Investment Bank

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.

UK Green Investment Bank is wholly owned by HM Government. The Company is not authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. A wholly owned subsidiary UK Green Investment Bank Financial Services Limited, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.