London, 07 July 2015
Macquarie Capital and Macquarie’s Commodities and Financial Markets group (together, ‘Macquarie’) have recently signed an agreement to support MGT Power Limited (‘MGT’) in the financing of the 299MWe Teesside Renewable Energy Plant (the ‘Project’), which has received a UK Government-supported Contract for Difference (‘CfD’).
Biomass is a reliable source of large-scale, baseload renewable energy, which is needed to supplement intermittent renewable generation (such as wind and solar) and to help the UK meet its legislated renewable energy targets.
The Project will be fuelled by wood pellets and chips from certified sustainable forestry sources in the United States and Europe, with regular audits to ensure compliance with strict sustainability criteria mandated by the Project’s CfD1. When constructed, the Project will have a significantly smaller carbon footprint than fossil fuel alternatives2.
The £650 million investment required for the Project will be a major boost for the economy of North-East England, and is estimated to create at least 600 jobs during construction and sustain about 100 full time jobs once operational.
All major permits for the Project’s construction and operation have been secured and Macquarie Capital has commenced a debt raising process; financial close is targeted for Q4 2015.
MGT Power is a UK independent power station developer focused on large-scale sustainable biomass projects. Its management team has experience in UK and overseas power generation projects totaling c.15 GWe. The team has a long history in biomass supply and sustainable sourcing.
Macquarie is partnering with MGT to bring the Project to financial close, and will be the lead equity sponsor for the Project as well as financial advisor. Macquarie has substantial experience in the alternative energy and clean technology sector with a global portfolio of investments in offshore wind, onshore wind and solar amongst other technologies.
Ben Elsworth, CEO of MGT Power commented “following the sanction by the European Commission of the Project’s CfD earlier this year, the involvement of Macquarie as an investor and adviser represents another major step forward in the process to finance the project with the aim of starting construction on site by early 2016 at the latest.”
Mark Dooley at Macquarie added “Macquarie is delighted to be partnering with MGT to bring this landmark project to fruition. As one of the first renewable energy assets to be project financed under the new UK CfD regime and the largest dedicated biomass project to be built in the UK, the project presents some challenges but also a great opportunity for the finance market. The transaction demonstrates Macquarie’s ability to support clients with advice and capital at all stages of a renewable energy project’s life.”
1. Sustainable forestry means that there will be no land use change; new forest growth will always replace that which is harvested. Protected or primary forest is not used, and rigorous tracing of origin is used to ensure compliance. Forests are not managed or harvested primarily for biomass, typically pellets or chips are made from co-products or residues that become available when commercially viable saw timber is being produced or as part of forest management regimes such as thinning or removal of diseased or damaged trees.
2. Even after factoring in all the lifecycle energy used in the production and transportation of pellets and chips, the Project’s carbon dioxide equivalent emissions will be approximately 82% lower than a typical coal-fired power plant and 59% lower than a typical gas-fired (combustion only) power plant (Coal and gas figures of 907kgCO2/MWh and 395kgCO2/MWhr respectively from DECC (Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2014)).