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Scotland set for new first-of-kind £111m recycling and waste plant

Zouk Capital, UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) and Foresight Group have today announced equity investments in the construction of the £111 million Levenseat Renewable Energy Limited 12.5 MWe energy from waste (EfW) plant and adjacent Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) at Forth by Lanark, Scotland.
GIB’s £28.25m investment was made via UK Waste & Resource & Energy Investments (UKWREI), the Foresight-managed fund, in which GIB is a cornerstone investor. This is the eighth investment made by the fund, which has now fully deployed £78m having mobilised capital in excess of £350m.
The project is also backed by an equity investment from Levenseat Limited and senior debt from Investec Bank plc.
This will be the first time a UK plant has combined fluidised bed gasification technology with Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), processed by the MRF.
The MRF will recover plastics, metals, paper and card for recycling. The project is forecast to recycle over a million tonnes of materials over its lifetime and will generate the heat required by the MRF.
The development is also forecast to supply electricity equivalent to the needs of nearly 18,000 homes over its expected 25-year lifespan. It is also expected to save 1.4 million tonnes of waste from going into landfill and deliver a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of around 1.3 million tonnes, equivalent to taking over 23,000 cars off the road for every year it operates.
The electricity will be supplied to the national grid with the heat output assisting the operation of the MRF. It will create more than 100 jobs during the construction phase and support 50 full-time jobs when complete.
The MRF is expected to become operational in January 2017, with the complete plant commencing operations in June of that year. Given its location near the centre of the M8 corridor, the facility will be well placed to process household waste from several local authorities and commercial waste from the Glasgow and Edinburgh regions.
M+W Group has been appointed main (EPC) contractor for the project.
Colin Campbell, Managing Partner, Zouk Capital LLP, said:
“We are excited to be involved in this pioneering and strategically well placed project. Zouk’s distinct power sector and project finance approach to investing in infrastructure allowed us to deliver this complex project and for it to be one of the few Advanced Conversion Technology projects to be built under the UK Government’s Renewables Obligation regime.”
Shaun Kingsbury, Chief Executive, UK Green Investment Bank, said:
“This first-of-kind project is the latest innovative example of how the UK is modernising its waste management infrastructure. By increasing recycling and using the remaining waste to produce energy, the Levenseat project will make a significant contribution towards Scotland’s ‘zero waste plan’.”
James Samworth, Director, Foresight Group, said:
“The Levenseat EfW plant and MRF will be a significant boost to waste infrastructure capacity in Scotland. The high tech EfW plant will benefit from the certainty of supply and the superior feedstock quality delivered by the high-specification MRF plant adjacent to the plant, which itself will benefit from the heat generated, improving efficiency of operation and maximising power output."
Peter MacLaren, Director, Levenseat, said:
“Levenseat is delighted to be delivering a first-of-kind technology to the UK market. This is further evidence of our commitment to developing new environmental and economic solutions for waste management and with the construction of our new plant together with our wider established facility we will be delivering to the market Scotland’s largest integrated facility providing treatment and recovery for a wide range of waste materials. We look forward to announcing further details shortly regarding the technology being used and our programme of Community Benefits including opportunities for local recruitment. We are also actively pursuing the opportunity to supply spare heat from the new plant to local homes.”
Neil Bennett, Sector Lead Waste to Energy, M+W Group, said:
“We are delighted to be appointed as the EPC contractor for this impressive project. M+W Group has proven expertise in the design, process engineering and construction of major complex projects, using project finance and other funding mechanisms. We are looking forward to successfully delivering the new infrastructure that will enable Levenseat to play a strategically important role in helping Scotland achieve its long term, low-carbon future.”
About the project
Total project value:  £111m
Total GIB indirect investment: £28.5m equity
Investors: GIB, Zouk Capital, Levenseat Limited
Environmental impact: recovery and recycling of over a million tonnes of materials over its lifetime, reduction in lifetime greenhouse gas emissions of over 1,300,000 tonnes, equivalent to taking over 23,000 cars off the road
Energy generation: 75GWh of electricity produced per year
Feedstock supply: from adjacent MRF facility with capacity to process 215,000 tpa