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JLEN acquires major stake in UK anaerobic digestion firm

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Environmental infrastructure funding company JLEN has acquired a 70% equity stake in anaerobic digestion and waste collection firm Bio Collectors Holdings (BCH). Through its subsidiary companies, BCH holds the rights and operational assets that make up its anaerobic digestion (AD) plant and its Bio Collectors waste collection business.

BCH is based in Merton, south London. Its AD plant was commissioned in December 2013 and has since been expanded. The plant has a thermal capacity of c. 10MWth, a waste processing capacity of up to 100,000 tonnes per annum and predominantly produces biomethane, which is injected into the national gas grid. The plant also has 1.7MWe of capacity via two combined heat and power (CHP) engines and is accredited under the Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed-in-Tariff schemes.

JLEN’s 70% stake in BCH was acquired from private individuals, with the remaining 30% retained by the existing owner, who will remain active in the business.

The Bio Collectors waste collection business gathers source-separated and packaged food waste for the AD plant from commercial and industrial sectors as well as local authorities in Greater London, via its biogas-powered fleet. The acquisition by JLEN represents the company’s first acquisition into food waste-fuelled AD, further diversifying its renewable energy portfolio.

Richard Morse, chairman of JLEN, said: “We are pleased with JLEN’s latest investment, which presents a diversification within the anaerobic digestion sector. The acquisition of a food waste-fed AD plant in London bridges two sub-sectors of JLEN’s existing portfolio, leveraging experience of the agricultural AD assets and the waste processing assets.

“The production of biogas to inject into the national grid and also to power its own fleet of collection vehicles, underlines the importance that assets such as these play in the UK’s ambition to decarbonise its energy supply. We also value the opportunity to continue to work with the existing private shareholder to drive further value in the investment in future years.”