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JLEN acquires Codford Biogas and its food waste AD plant

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JLEN Environmental Assets has acquired Codford Biogas, which holds the rights and operational assets that form the Codford anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.

Codford Biogas’ AD plant in Wiltshire, UK, processes 100,000 tonnes of food waste per year and supplies up to 4,000 homes via the UK power grid.

The acquisition is structured as an initial upfront payment, including working capital, of £19.8 million (€22.6 million), with a smaller additional amount in deferred consideration relating to several expansion opportunities payable post-completion.

The Codford Biogas plant has been operational since 2014. It has a current electrical capacity of 3.8 MWe, which is generated by processing both liquid and solid food waste from the commercial and industrial sector. This segment of the food waste market has proved resilient in the last 12 months.

In addition to the core electricity export, the plant is accredited under the Feed-in-Tariff scheme and the Renewable Heat Incentive schemes. The plant is an ‘excellent example’ of an AD operation that is well integrated into modern farming systems, according to JLEN.

The plant supplies around 800,000 tonnes per annum of nutrient-rich, PAS110 digestate biofertiliser to the surrounding farms and as a result, reduces their use of carbon-intensive synthetic fertilisers by 70-80%.

Richard Morse, chairman of JLEN, said: “We are pleased with JLEN’s latest investment, which is our second food waste processing AD plant and its first fully electrical plant.

“The plant plays an important role in converting waste that would otherwise go to landfill into green electricity to power homes. Specific to the investment, we also value the opportunity to continue to work with some of the founding shareholders in the future years.”

This acquisition further diversifies JLEN’s portfolio in the waste and wastewater sector and increases the total capacity of renewable energy assets in its investment portfolio to 308.5 MW.

The 100% stake in Codford Biogas has been acquired from private individuals who will continue to support the business going forward. It was funded by a draw-down on JLEN’s revolving credit facility.