Pension fund backs Liverpool Waters’ low carbon heat network

Planned for Peel Group’s £5bn Liverpool Waters project, the Heat Network will be delivered by Peel Energy and will provide hot water, heat and energy to homes and businesses. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool Waters
The Heat Network will supply Peel’s £5bn Liverpool Waters project


Merseyside Pension Fund (MPF) is providing a £13m loan to support a project to supply low carbon energy and hot water to homes and businesses on Liverpool’s waterfront.

Planned for Peel Group’s £5bn Liverpool Waters project, the Heat Network will be delivered by Peel Energy part of Peel Land & Property, and will use underground pipes to transfer heat energy at the Princes and Central Docks, and northern areas of the scheme.

District heat networks are more common in Scandinavia than the UK and operate on a straightforward principle: hot water is generated by a central source and sent through pipes around a district to provide heating and hot water. The process can also generate electricity.

First phase

Peel Energy has established a dedicated energy supply company which will build, own and operate the Heat Network. Completion is expected in 2023 and once complete, the first phase will provide up to 19 gigawatt hours of heat energy every year to consumers at Liverpool Waters and the wider waterfront area.

Liverpool Waters is an ongoing project that is seeing the creation of thousands of homes, commercial space, new cruise terminal and hotel and a new stadium for Everton Football Club.

CBRE’s Investment Advisory team, part of CBRE Capital Advisors, arranged a £13m senior loan facility on behalf of MPF which will   facilitate the development of two temporary energy centres as well as initial underground pipes to transfer the heat energy.

The funding marks the third investment backed by the Penson Fund’s Catalyst Vehicle since its establishment in 2017 and meets the ‘Catalyst’ criteria of supporting projects that support the economy in the Liverpool city region.

Liverpool Waters
Computer-generated image of three residential towers under construction in Princes Dock


Muir Miller, managing director of Peel Energy, said: “So far, the UK has made great progress in de-carbonising the electricity sector but more needs to be done on heating and transport emissions.

“This is the first phase of a 10-year project, which we hope will eventually supply around 9,000 homes and numerous businesses along Liverpool’s waterfront. The scheme clearly demonstrates Peel L&P’s intent to play a significant part in tackling carbon dioxide emissions.”

Lower emissions

The UK Government supports deployment of this combined heat and power technology as part of the UK’s drive to reduce carbon emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, encouraging its use where possible in new and existing buildings.

Cllr Pat Cleary, chair of MPF, added: “Catalyst Fund represents MPF’s commitment to local development and regeneration making a positive impact on the communities its stakeholders live, work and retire into while seeking commercial return for its members.

“We are pleased to have made our third Catalyst Fund investment which will provide cost effective heat and power solution to up to 9,000 homes and 4m sq ft of commercial space with cleaner CHP technology.”

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