8 September 2017 by Elizabeth Slow

Wheelabrator reaches financial close on FM2

Wheelabrator Technologies has reached financial close on the 675,000 tonnes per year Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 (FM2) energy from waste facility in West Yorkshire.

This is the second project by the Multifuel Energy partnership with energy firm SSE.

The financial close announcement this week comes as the Green Investment Group Limited confirmed the arranging of a £38 million of finance for Wheelabrator Technologies, to be used for the construction of FM2.

Progress to reach financial close on Wheelabrator’s £207 million share of the FM2 construction project follows the award of planning consent by the Secretary of State in October 2015 with an environmental permit being granted by the Environment Agency one month later (see letsrecycle.com story).

According to Wheelabrator, fuel for the Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 facility will be supplied by a number of major waste management companies.

According to Wheelabrator, fuel for the FM2 facility will be supplied by a number of major waste management companies through long-term fixed price contracts.

Investment

The Green Investment Group’s (GIG) £38 million commitment is its first completed investment.

The GIG is the new name for what was previously known as the Green Investment Bank which was bought by a Macquarie-led consortium last month (see letsrecycle.com story).

According to GIG, the investment is part of a £207 million senior debt facility from a syndicate of lenders including MUFG, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, Investec Bank plc and Banco de Sabadell S.A. that will fund Wheelabrator Technologies’ stake in FM2.

“This financial close is another major milestone for our 50:50 joint venture partnership with SSE to build and operate new energy-from-waste projects,” said Wheelabrator president and CEO Robert Boucher. “We look forward to a long-term partnership with SSE and remain committed to investing in new long-term waste infrastructure across the UK, providing local and regional solutions to waste management and clean energy generation.”

FM1

The FM2 follows on from SSE and Wheelabrator Technologies’s partnership on the Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 project (pictured).

Sustainable electricity

FM2 will generate about 70 MW of clean, sustainable electricity to power UK homes and business. The first project in the MEL partnership, Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 (FM1) – a 675,000 tonnes per year EfW facility co-located in West Yorkshire, has been operational since 2015.

Construction on FM2 commenced in August 2016 and plant operations are expected to begin in Q3 2019.

Now, one year into its three-year construction phase, Wheelabrator says the facility is creating hundreds of additional jobs in the local area and dozens of local supply chain opportunities. Once operational, the facility is expected to create 47 new, full-time operational roles. 

Partnership

SSE’s director of business development Sandy Honeyman said: “Following the successful working partnership between SSE and Wheelabrator Technologies on the Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 project, we welcome the opportunity to continue the partnership and complete construction of the Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 project, which has progressed well over the past 12 months.”

Commenting on the company’s investment, Edward Northam, head of the Green Investment Group, said: “This first transaction under Macquarie ownership builds upon our well-established investment strategy. Working with Wheelabrator Technologies, we have helped finance the construction of major new energy infrastructure in West Yorkshire and facilitated the continued growth of the UK merchant energy-from-waste market.”


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