Cramlington biomass sold to JLEN

Environmental infrastructure fund, JLEN Environment, today announced it acquired a 100% equity stake in Cramlington Renewable Energy Developments (CRED) Ltd, which owns the Cramlington Biomass plant in Northumberland.

The 240,000 tonnes per year capacity combined heat and power plant was built and operated by Estover Energy, which shares some of the same directors as CRED.

JLEN told letsrecycle.com that the plant was “acquired from the administrator of the Hold Co”.  It added that Estover Energy are currently involved in the plant’s operations at the company level.

While the transaction was for an undisclosed fee, on its website, Estover says the plant is worth £138 million.

The Cramlington biomass plant while still under construction (picture: Estover Energy)

It was financed in 2015 with £48 million of equity committed by John Laing Group plc and the UK Green Investment Bank alongside £90 million of debt from Barclays Bank.

Fuelled by a mixture of virgin and waste wood, the plant became fully operational in 2018 and supplies electricity and heat to local pharmaceutical companies Aesica Pharmaceuticals and MSD. It also supplies 28MW of electricity to the National Grid.

JLEN said around two thirds of CRED’s revenues are backed by long-term subsidies and an additional 10% via long-term contracts.

‘Sustainable’

Richard Morse, chairman of JLEN, said: “We are happy to announce JLEN’s first investment into large scale biomass CHP, which leverages the knowledge and experience gained in owning a number of bioenergy assets already.

“We are happy to announce JLEN’s first investment into large scale biomass”

Richard Morse, JLEN chairman

“We believe that assets such as these provide a sustainable source of renewable heat and power that can be utilised as baseload power to the grid and a direct provision to nearby industrial customers. The plant has a strong operational track record, and we look forward to optimising this asset for the future.”

Portfolio

JLEN holds a number of waste management project in its portfolio, and lists an 80% stake in the East London Waste Authority PFI project with Renewi as an asset.

The project includes two mechanical biological treatment facilities at Frog Island in Havering and Jenkins Land in Newham plus four reuse and recycling centres.

It also lists a 70% stake in Bio Collectors Holdings, which owns an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Merton, London.

In February 2021 it also acquired a 100% equity stake in Codford Biogas, which holds the rights and operational assets that make up the Codford AD plant, a 100,000 tonnes per annum food waste permitted plant based in Wiltshire.

Results

The acquisition of the Cramlington comes after JLEN also published its results for the financial year ending 31 March 2021 on Thursday (8 June).

It valued its portfolio of 36 assets at £571.4m, and said it made a profit of £8.1 million after tax.

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