18 September 2013

An energy sector project that Burges Salmon's Energy team advised on has won European Biomass Deal of the Year at the IJGlobal Awards 2015.

Energy sector experts from the firm advised developer Estover Energy and latterly project vehicle Speyside Renewable Energy Partnership Ltd (SREPL) on the development and financing of SREPL's new biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant in Speyside, Scotland.

The construction of the project was funded by a public bond issue, guaranteed by Infrastructure UK (IUK) and is the first project finance bond issue guaranteed by IUK in the biomass sector. The bonds were admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange on 29 August 2014.

The sponsors of the project were UK Green Investment Bank plc, John Laing and Estover Energy Limited.

The £74 million Speyside CHP plant, situated near to the new Macallan distillery, generates enough renewable energy to power more than 20,000 homes and has created 123 jobs. The distillery uses the heat generated by the plant providing 90 per cent of all steam needed in the distillation process and contributes to reducing the cost of energy at The Macallan. By using biomass to generate heat instead of natural gas, the distillery has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by over 17,500 tCO2e, equivalent to taking almost 8,000 cars off the road.

The Burges Salmon team was led by Energy partner Nick Churchward with associate Emma Andrews and included Banking and Finance partner Graham Soar with solicitor Alison Logan and Scottish Real Estate partner Euan Bremner with associate Ewen Cairns. The team advised Estover on all aspects of the development of the project from 2010 until the commencement of the financing process in 2013 during which the firm continued to advise SREPL on the Scottish real estate and security documents aspects of the Project as well as energy regulation and the heat energy supply arrangements.

Nick Churchward said: “Having advised on this project since its inception in 2010, it is incredibly satisfying to see it receive such high acclaim in winning European Biomass Deal of the Year at the IJGlobal Awards 2015.

“We are delighted to have been part of a project team whose efforts have generated jobs and contributed greatly to the renewable energy sector in the region. This exciting project is a significant stepping stone for Estover Energy, the project sponsors and renewables industry as a whole who are all working hard to deliver the Government's policy commitments with modern, clean renewable energy infrastructure.

'It is also another milestone for Burges Salmon's Energy team who have advised or are advising on a further eight UK biomass schemes since closing the award winning Helius Corde biomass project in 2012.”

The IJGlobal Europe & Africa Awards are a celebration of best in class deals in energy and infrastructure over the past year, uniting over 600 of the industries finest on one evening. The Awards took place in London on 19 February 2015, at The Natural History Museum.

Key contact

Nick Churchward

Nick Churchward Partner

  • Head of Resource and Waste Management
  • Projects
  • Energy and Utilities

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