Britaniacrest Recycling acquired by Qair Group

French independent renewable energy producer Qair has acquired the Surrey-based waste management company Britaniacrest Recycling Ltd.

Britaniacrest EfW
An artist's impression of Qair/Britaniacrest Recycling's 3Rs facility, approve by the Planning Inspectorate in 2020

The acquisition of Britaniacrest was completed yesterday (13 September) by Qair and marks a move into energy from waste for Qair in the UK. Qair operates across Europe and in other parts of the world and says that this year it will commission 1 gigawatt of assets; it already operates within part of the renewable energy sector in the UK.

While Britaniacrest has the word ‘recycling’ in its name, the focus of the Britaniacrest purchase is what Qair described as “the rights to the 3Rs energy from waste project” which is proposed for the company’s Wealden Works site near Horsham, Surrey.

The project is significant as the region is short of energy from waste capacity with other projects failing to get off the ground and has the potential to take in municipal waste from Surrey, Sussex and London.

Britaniacrest said that its purchase by Qair will help it grow further in the region. The 230,000 tonnes per year capacity plant was refused planning permission by West Sussex county council in 2018, but was approved by the Planning Inspectorate in February 2020 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Family business

In a statement, Qair and Britaniacrest explained that Britaniacrest, originally a family business operating throughout Surrey and Sussex, was formed in 1993 by Ray Foss to provide “an affordable and professional skip hire and waste management service for private and commercial customers. By pioneering new concepts of recycling, Britaniacrest has grown from strength to strength to become one of the South of England’s leading private waste management companies.”

Qair said: “This transaction gives Qair access to a well-run waste management company and associated infrastructure as well as all the rights to the 3Rs Energy from Waste (EfW) project at the company’s Wealden Works site near Horsham located just 35 miles from central London. Britaniacrest has played a key role in developing the 3Rs EfW project in Horsham.

Britaniacrest also has access to waste for the proposed project

“Through its core activity focused on recycling materials, Britaniacrest (BCR) will be a key component for the EfW project in terms of waste supply. Adding value to the West Sussex and Surrey area Qair intends to provide an outlet for the non-recyclable residual fraction of the waste by diversifying BCR’s activities and completing the development of the 3Rs EfW project whilst at the same time supplying up to 23 megawatts of base load sustainable electricity.”

2026 opening

Qair targets financial close for the EfW project in 2023 and expects the plant to produce its first megawatt-hours in 2026. Qair said it is already engaged in “serious discussions” with a major EPC contractor.

A statement from Qair noted: “This acquisition confirms Qair’s ambition to expand further in the United Kingdom, following the incorporation, in 2021, of its UK subsidiary which currently holds a portfolio of onshore wind and photovoltaic (PV) projects at various stages of development totaling 700MW in capacity, and the setting up of a consortium which was awarded two offshore projects with a total capacity of 2GW in the ScotWind leasing round.”

Combination

Louis Blanchard, CEO of Qair Group

Ray Foss, managing director of Britaniacrest Recycling Ltd, said: “This is a major decision for both Britaniacrest and Qair. The combination of the two companies will accelerate the growth and diversification of Britaniacrest in the region, and we welcome the talent and expertise that Qair will bring to the company. We are pleased to complete the acquisition by Qair and look forward to working with them to develop the business and the energy from waste facility.”

Louis Blanchard, CEO of Qair, added: “We see a significant opportunity to build on BCR’s team’s strong capabilities and reputation and further grow the company. We look forward to starting the production of our first base load megawatt from 3Rs EfW plant. This asset will complement Qair’s wind and solar projects currently being developed in the UK and reduce BCR’s carbon footprint.”

 

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