12 October 2012

Covanta looks to Scottish fund for CHP plant

US energy-from-waste specialist Covanta is hoping to secure finance to aid the development of a combined heat and power facility in North Lanarkshire from a 103 million fund which was launched by the Scottish Government yesterday (October 11).

The Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) was unveiled by Scotlands First Minister Alex Salmond at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment conference in Edinburgh. It is designed to stimulate greater levels of private finance in the production of energy from renewable sources and renewable district heating projects in the country.

Construction of the facility is expected to begin in late 2013

Construction of the facility is expected to begin in late 2013

The Scottish Government said the fund is designed support projects that are significantly advanced but have a demonstrable funding gap. It is also complementary to other forms of funding available, including the Green Investment Bank.

Commenting on the fund, Mr Salmond said: We are determined to ensure Scotland is among the worlds key destinations for investment in low carbon technologies, building on our long-established reputation in engineering, innovation and financial services. This fund will help leverage further significant private finance into key areas of the renewables sector where specific funding gaps have been identified.

Following the launch of the fund, Covanta said it plans to discuss the possibility of gaining finance from the fund for its flagship project in the country.


The firm plans to build a CHP facility at Green Hills, which is located to the north east of Airdrie. It would comprise of a 300,000 tonnes-per-annum capacity energy-from-waste (EfW) incinerator and a 350,000 tpa capacity materials recovery facility (MRF). The EfW facility will generate 21MW of electricity and 21MW of thermal energy for use in district heating and cooling systems to support nearby businesses and houses.

Planning permission for the plant was granted in 2009 (see letsrecycle.com story) and construction is expected to commence in late 2013, with completion anticipated in early 2017.

Malcolm Chilton, managing director of Covanta, said: Covanta welcomes the Renewable Energy Investment Fund as a positive step in the right direction to help boost Scotlands renewable and low-carbon energy industry. This is welcome news as Covanta continues to progress with its flagship project in Scotland.

Delivering renewable district heating is a priority for the Renewable Energy Investment Fund and is an integral part of our project. Historically, however, market conditions have made this difficult to achieve. We are exploring heat options with local stakeholders and look forward to discussing with the Scottish Government the potential of the Renewable Energy Investment Fund to support delivery of our heat plan as potentially district heating and industrial process heating and cooling.


The conference in Edinburgh also saw Mr Salmond unveil plans for an advisory group to support those seeking investment from the UK Green Investment Bank.

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Commenting on the groups role, he said: “The planned advisory group will provide expert advice for people who have good ideas and projects to put to the Green Investment Bank, but who need a helping hand to make them ready for investment. The group will help those people to refine and pitch their proposals by doing so, it should enable the Green Investment Bank to make decisions quickly, and to start investing in projects which will deliver real benefits.”

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