Green energy power plant secures £14m investment

Entrepreneur will turn his dream of building a waste-to-energy green power plant in Ellesmere Port into reality after securing £14m backing from a Dutch investor. Tony McDonough reports

Ellesmere Port
Mark Schofield, left, with Martijn van Rheenen, CEO of Perpetual Next at the power plant site

 

A £14m energy plant that will convert organic waste into electricity will be up and running in Ellesmere Port later this year.

Entrepreneur Mark Schofield’s Trinity Organics has won backing for the project from Netherlands-based green energy investment firm Perpetual Next through its subsidiary Primco. Mr Schofield has been working on the scheme for a number of years.

Work is now under way to construct the anaerobic digestion facility on a three-acre brownfield site in Ellesmere Port. It is expected to be up and running by the summer and will operate around the clock to digest 36,000 tonnes of organic waste each year and convert it into green gas to supply the National Grid.

The plant will produce enough biomethane to provide 41.5m kilowatt hours of gas a year, which is sufficient to power 3,500 average-sized four-bedroom detached houses. A production technique employed at the plant will prevent the harmful release into the atmosphere of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

Mr Schofield said: “Having spent a number of years working to deliver this project, I am delighted to have completed this transaction with Primco that will allow my vision to become reality. I am excited to work with Primco to deliver not just this project but also other renewable energy schemes.”

Manchester-based commercial law firm, Taylors Solicitors, advised Trinity Organics on the £14m investment. Led by corporate partner Matthew Catterall, the team included senior property associate Peter Marks and corporate solicitor Arun Dhaliwal.

Matthew Catterall
Matthew Catterall, corporate partner at Taylors Solicitors

 

Mr Catterall added: “We hope this is the start of a productive partnership, and that Mark and Primco can deliver additional operations throughout the UK to support the country’s growing green energy market.

“This deal demonstrates that, despite Brexit and much uncertainty in the market, the UK remains very attractive for international investment, including from the EU and especially in the green energy sector, in which we are seeing a significant increase in activity and requests from clients to advise upon.”

Perpetual Next is an investment firm with €500m under management. Its subsidiary Primco invests in, builds and operates waste-to-energy conversion plants in northern Europe and is focusing on the development of further anaerobic digestion projects in the UK.

Rene Buwalda, chief executive of Primco, also said: “We are delighted to have completed our investment into Trinity Organics, which fits perfectly with our strategy and creates the opportunity to step into the UK market. We are very excited to see what Mark and his team can deliver in this project and beyond.

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