The UK Green Investment Bank (GI has announced its contribution towards a fund of £576, 733 which will finance the installation of a biomass boiler at a Scottish whisky distillery near Inverness. The GIB is a cornerstone investor with the Equitix managed fund Energy Savings Investments (ESI) and the funding forms part of a £1.2 million investment with another £600,274 being provided by the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF). The investment is being made in partnership with Balcas Limited, a company that manufactures wood pellet biomass.
The ESI fund is part of GIB’s allocation of investment funds for one of its priority sectors, energy efficiency. The bank awarded the competitive fund mandate to Equitix to invest £50 million, matched by private investors, in order to drive investment in small-scale low carbon infrastructure requiring less than £30 million of financing. Equitix has also established EEEF to make investments into the energy efficiency sector, including as co-investors alongside ESI.
“I am pleased to be able to announce our first Scottish investment” said Shaun Kingsbury, Chief Executive of the UK Green Investment Bank. “As well as significant emission reductions, the project will provide a boost to the local economy. We have a strong pipeline of investments in Scotland and hope to be able to announce further investments in Scottish distilleries, as well as other projects, very soon.”
The boiler replaces a high maintenance, inefficient oil fired boiler and will replace around 80 percent of the heat load generated by the old boiler. It will take over the generation of steam that is utilised in the production of whisky at the distillery which is located 16 miles south of Inverness. The new boiler will be fuelled by sustainably sourced wood pellet fuel and is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 96,500 tonnes over the 20 year life of the investment. This will help the distillery to make significant savings on their energy bills as well as supporting the green economy and reducing carbon emissions. The wood pellets will be of EN plus A1 Standard pellets manufactured by Balcas using renewable electrical and thermal energy and raw materials sourced from local, sustainably managed forests by Balcas at their plant at Invergordon. This will in turn generate local jobs and support the support the supply chain.
“This is the second deal that Equitix has closed in which GIB has invested with the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund as the private sector co-investor” added Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Equitix. “We are pleased to be able to add a positive economic and environmental impact to this area in Scotland. Equitix continue to source a pipeline of high quality opportunities for investment by GIB and expect to deploy further capital in this region in the near future.”