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UK AD farm receives £13m expansion fund from HSBC

A UK anaerobic digestion (AD) energy farm in Hampshire has secured £13 million (€16.7m) of funding from the HSBC bank to expand.

Andover-based Yelspa of Apsley Farms will use the HSBC funding to expand its AD plant, which will capture CO2 to use in the food and beverage industry.

Yelpsa comprises of a 1,050ac farming operation in the heart of Hampshire and, until five years ago, the business farmed arable crops of wheat, spring barley, and rapeseed in a tight rotation.

However, due to decreasing margins, the owners decided to invest in a biodigester and farm for energy, and the farm now produces electricity, heat, and fertiliser.

HSBC has provided a £10 million loan to support the company's AD and biomethane expansion, and an additional £1.5 million has been supplied for the development of the new CO2 plant.

A £1.5 million overdraft and working capital facility was also set up to help the business with the smooth running of its operations.

Owner Henry du Val de Beaulieu said: "Transforming the farm into an economically viable business has been a long journey. We started from nothing so to be in the position we are now, with one of the largest on farm AD plants in Europe, is a fantastic achievement.”

"To have HSBC’s support through this process has been invaluable and has given us mobility and security to help realise our ambitions for the farm. We have every intention to continue expanding the farm and create more jobs for the community."