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Equitix & Balfour Beatty reach financial close on the £162.9 million Humber Gateway OFTO

Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, announced today that it has reached financial close on the £162.9 million Humber Gateway offshore transmission project. The Balfour Beatty Equitix Consortium, formed of Balfour Beatty Investments and Equitix, will own and operate the offshore transmission link to the Humber Gateway wind farm for the next 20 years. 

The high-voltage electricity transmission link connects the 219MW offshore wind farm in the North Sea, 8km from the Yorkshire coast, to the onshore transmission grid. The 73 turbines are capable of generating enough electricity for around 170,000 homes each year. Balfour Beatty’s Power Transmission and Distribution business will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the full OFTO assets, including one offshore and one onshore substation and two cable circuits consisting of 18 kilometres of subsea and 30 kilometres of land cable.

 Balfour Beatty Investments, part of the Balfour Beatty Equitix Consortium, will invest £12.5 million of the required equity of £21 million.

Ian Rylatt, Balfour Beatty Investments Chief Executive, said: “Balfour Beatty has extensive experience in investing in and managing OFTO schemes. Our technical expertise ensures we deliver energy to the grid efficiently and effectively, supporting the government’s ambitious targets to meet more of the UK’s energy needs through renewable sources.”  

Hugh Crossley, Equitix’s Chief Investment Officer, said: “Equitix’s commitment to the offshore transmission market is testament to our investors’ appetite for long term, availability-based, inflation-linked, UK infrastructure.  We are comfortable working in partnership with Balfour Beatty and Ofgem for the benefit of these pension fund investors and the broader community of stakeholders”. 

Balfour Beatty and Equitix now own four OFTO projects, including  the £317 million Greater Gabbard OFTO in November 2013, the £164 million Thanet OFTO in December 2014 and the £352 million Gwynt y Môr OFTO in February 2015. 


 


Equitix closes North Hub - Aberdeen South of the City Academy School

Equitix has closed on a North Hub project in Aberdeen.  This project is for the provision of a £47m Academy School for Aberdeen City Council.  The new school will provide a new facility amalgamating the existing Torry and Kincorth Academies. The new school will cater for 1350 pupils and provide high-quality sports and performance facilities for both the school and local community, featuring three distinct areas of accommodation – main classroom and teaching areas, sports facilities and vocational teaching areas. In addition, it will provide car parking in line with the Council’s transport and accessibility guidance requirements. 

The construction programme is single phase, commencing on 30th June 2016 and completing 24 months later on 15th June 2018.

Equitix is providing 30% of the investment finance with the remainder coming from Galliford Try Investments (30%), Aberdeen City Council (10%), Scottish Futures Trust (10%) and Hub Community Foundation Investments (20%). Aviva Commercial Finance Limited is providing the senior debt for the project.

 


Equitix acquires a 20MW operational UK solar PV portfolio

Equitix Fund IV has completed on the acquisition of a 20MW operational solar PV portfolio from the NYSE-listed solar developer ReneSola.   The portfolio consists of four utility-scale 5MW solar farms situated across four separate locations in Derbyshire, Devon, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire.   Each of the four solar farms, which were connected to the grid in March 2016 and are now fully operational, benefit from long-term, RPI-linked revenues derived from the Renewable Obligation Certificate scheme (1.3 ROCs).   Ongoing O&M services to each of the sites shall continue to be provided by ReneSola.

The acquisition marks a significant development for Equitix, representing the first solar PV acquisition in the UK and following shortly on from the acquisition of an Italian solar portfolio by Equitix Fund IV in Q1 2016.    

Equitix’s Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Jackson, commenting upon the transaction, said, “This initial acquisition into the UK ground-mounted solar sector constitutes an important milestone for Equitix as we continue to selectively diversify our investment portfolio into attractive opportunities within the UK renewable energy sector, enabling our investors to benefit from the stable, long-term cashflows associated with this asset class whilst enhancing the proportion of the UK’s energy demands that can be met from renewable sources”. 

 


Wrexham set for new £25m green energy plant

•UK Green Investment Bank plc and Equitix commit £25m to Wrexham green energy plant

•The facility will generate enough electricity annually to power 2,400 homes

•The plant will reduce the equivalent amount of greenhouse gas emitted by 2,800 cars

Construction work will soon commence on a new green energy facility in Wrexham Industrial Estate, North Wales, after developers secured a commitment of £25m from UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) and Equitix.

The 5.4 MW biomass plant, the second to be developed by Liverpool-based Green Plan Energy, will generate around 34 GWh of green electricity per annum – enough to power 2,400 number of homes. It will be combined heat and power (CHP) ‘ready’, meaning it has the potential to provide heat to neighbouring manufacturing businesses. 

The facility is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 6,000 tonnes CO2e every year – the equivalent of removing 2,800 cars from the road.

The Equitix-managed fund Energy Savings Investment (ESI), in which GIB is a cornerstone investor, is investing £12.25m in the project. An additional £12.75m of private capital has been mobilised from the parallel Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF).

Bester Generaciόn UK Limited, part of the Bester Group, has been appointed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) Contractor and has been awarded a long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) contract. Around 60 jobs will be created during construction of the plant, with 15 full-time positions created upon completion.

Fuel will be supplied by Hadfield Wood Recyclers who have sites in Tilbury, Manchester and Middlesbrough with biomass specialists PBS Energo supplying the plant’s biomass boiler, flue gas cleaning system and electricity generation contract.

Power will be exported to the grid and sold to ENGIE under a long-term power off-take agreement.

Edward Northam, Head of Investment Banking, GIB, said:

“Britain’s manufacturing businesses consume huge amounts of heat every year, much of it from non-renewable sources. Dual-purpose plants like Wrexham, which are capable of generating renewable electricity and heat for the benefit of local industry, play an important role in greening the UK economy. Heat isn’t just a bi-product of the electricity generation process; it is a valuable source of energy in itself.”

Geoff Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Equitix, said:

“We are pleased to have reached Financial Close on another CHP ‘ready’ scheme in our energy efficiency portfolio. Once operational, we expect it to deliver beneficial carbon savings and make a significant contribution to the environment and creating a sustainable economy in the UK.

“Equitix is pleased to have achieved this close on behalf of our investors and we expect to close further energy efficiency deals in the coming months.” 

 


Equitix achieves financial close on new £44m Largs 2 – 18 campus for North Ayrshire Council

Equitix has achieved financial close on a new £44m Largs 2 – 18 campus for North Ayrshire Council.  The project marks the 6th DBFM project that Equitix has developed and closed through Hub South West.  Construction work, which starts immediately, will be undertaken by Galliford Try Construction with Life Cycle and Hard FM services being delivered by FES FM through the 25 year concession period.

The project marks a significant investment in the school estate of North Ayrshire Council, bringing together three existing primary schools and a secondary school into a single site – promoting the efficiencies of a campus development, but with each part of the campus having its own identity within the whole.  The new learning campus will host 1200 secondary school pupils, 210 denominational primary pupils, 610 non-denominational primary pupils and 100 early years places, as well as providing core leisure and community provision to the surrounding area.

The overall area of the new building within the campus is based upon metrics from the Scottish Futures Trust, with the final construction costs delivering an efficiency of 5% below SFT metric.

Hub South West, through the procurement of the project, has also committed to a series of community benefits which will be delivered through the construction of the new facility.  These will provide a range of training and apprenticeship opportunities, as well as maximising the use of local suppliers – thus ensuring that the impact of this new facility will extend beyond the building itself and bring with it a wider social and economic benefit to the people of Largs.

 


Equitix agrees major Scottish tidal deal

Atlantis, a global leader in the tidal power sector, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a partnership agreement with Equitix, a market leading developer investor and fund manager of infrastructure assets with over £1.7 billion of funds under management.

 Under this agreement, Atlantis and Equitix will work together to advance Atlantis’s portfolio of tidal power projects in Scotland, which represent a combined potential capacity of almost 650MW.  Equitix, through its managed funds, intends to acquire at least 25% of each Atlantis project vehicle at financial close of that project, and will work with Atlantis to prepare the projects for investment of the construction capital and achievement of financial close.

 In the next two years alone Atlantis anticipates committed capital investment of almost £500 million for construction of the Company’s Scottish portfolio, from a combination of debt, equity and grants.  This includes £51 million already committed for the current construction of the first phase of the MeyGen project, which is scheduled to produce first power this year. 

 Tim Cornelius, CEO of Atlantis, commented:

 "This agreement with Equitix, a leading infrastructure investment specialist, is an important step for us in engaging a partner with both vital experience of large infrastructure projects and access to extensive capital, coupled with a desire to work with us to accelerate the further development of the UK’s tidal power industry. We are very excited to be working with Equitix on a range of fronts.”

 Nick Parker, COO and Founding Director of Equitix, commented:

 "We are delighted to be entering into this partnership agreement with Atlantis, the clear market leader in the tidal energy industry which secures access to a pipeline of primary investment opportunities and has tremendous growth potential in the UK.”

 


Equitix acquires stake in Wakefield PFI contract

Equitix has today acquired, subject to obtaining Wakefield Council consent, 100% of the subordinated debt and 49.99%of the equity in the financing and infrastructure vehicle (the “SPV”) relatingto the PFI contract with Wakefield Council from Shanks Group. The transactionhas been signed by Shanks Group, has full bank consent and requires the formalapproval of Wakefield Council which will be considered at the Council’s Cabinetmeeting in March.

The asset consists of a municipal wastemanagement PFI project situated within the city of Wakefield, WestYorkshire.  The project reached Financial Close in January 2013, with FullService occurring in December 2015.   

Shanks remains wholly committed to thelong term success of the Wakefield project through its retention of 50.01% ofthe equity in the SPV and the ongoing delivery of the associated 25 yearoperating contract which expires in 2038. 

Geoff Jackson, CEO, Equitix, commented:“Equitix continues to invest in the heart of local communities and in line withtheir funds’ investment criteria.  We are pleased to be building on ourportfolio of local authority waste projects, which have long term concessionsin place to deliver sustainable solutions to extract recyclates and diverthousehold waste from landfill to build a greener local economy.” 

 


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