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Construction begins on 21.5MW biomass plant in Cheshire

CoGen has reached financial close and started construction on Ince Bio Power, a 21.5MW waste biomass project in Protos, Cheshire, UK.

The Ince Bio Power project is the fourth such biomass power project by developer CoGen and follows the projects of Birmingham Bio Power in the West Midlands, Welland Bio Power in Northamptonshire and Dartmoor Bio Power in Plymouth.

Ince Bio Power is the first of a pipeline of CoGen projects to be fully financed in an all-equity transaction by Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (BIG), the recently announced waste infrastructure investment platform comprising stakeholders Infracapital, Aurium Capital Markets, Foresight Group and Helios.

The plant, which will qualify for 1.8 Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) for the first 19 plus years of its lifespan, uses an advanced conversion technology (ACT) process to convert approximately 170,000 tonnes per annum of recovered waste wood into clean renewable energy, enough to power around 40,000 homes.

The electricity produced will be purchased by nPower under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA), whilst the recovered waste wood will be supplied under a long-term contract by Ince Park Renewables.

Over 20 years of operation, the facility is forecast to deliver a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of some 65,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum. This equates to taking more than 40,000 average cars off the road each year.

Construction has commenced on the site, with MBV Energy, a joint venture between MWH Treatment and Black & Veatch, appointed as EPC contractor. Outotec Energy Products is the main technology subcontractor, while MWH Treatment has been appointed as operation and maintenance contractor. The plant is expected to export its first power in 2017.

CoGen has long established relations with a core group of advisors who have again assisted CoGen on the Ince Bio Power project with

Legal advice on the Ince Bio Power project has been provided by Ashfords (acting for the project) and Pinsent Masons (acting for investors). Royal Haskoning carried out the technical due diligence.

Ian Brooking, CEO of CoGen, says: 'It is great to get a complex project of this significant size through financial close.'