Eco2 sells third biomass plant in £160m deal

Welsh renewable energy company Eco2 has sold its 44.2MW straw-fired biomass plant in Snetterton, East Anglia to BWSC PCL in a £160 million (€201.7 million) deal. BWSC PCL is a joint venture between Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor and PensionDanmark.

This marks the second deal of its kind to BWSC PCL, following Eco2's sale of its Brigg straw-fired biomass plant in North Lincolnshire to the venture in 2013.

The Snetterton Renewable Energy plant will be primarily fuelled using locally sourced straw and will generate enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 82,000 homes. It will result in an annual CO2 emissions reduction of approximately 300,000 tonnes.

Originally developed by Iceni Energy, the plant received planning consent in July 2012. Iceni Energy and Eco2 partnered in May last year to take the plant forward to financial close.

Eco2's CEO David Williams says: 'This is a significant deal for the UK biomass industry, and the second sale Eco2 has completed with BWSC PCL on a sustainable-scale straw-fired biomass plant. We have a longstanding relationship with BWSC, who we also worked with on the sale of Wales' first commercial-scale biomass plant in Port Talbot in 2006 – the Western Wood Energy Plant. 'This latest deal is the third of its kind in the past three years, totalling £490 million.'

The investment in Snetterton is of DKK1.6 billion (€215 million). PensionDanmark invested DKK1.4 billion, which is financed through Copenhagen Infrastructure I, managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, while BWSC invested the remaining DKK200 million in the plant.

BWSC will be responsible for building, operating and maintaining the plant, which is expected to be operational by spring 2017. Straw supply contracts have been put in place for the next 12 years.

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