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The Equitix-managed Energy Saving Investments (ESI) fund, which the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is a cornerstone investor, is to provide £576,733 financing for the installation of a biomass boiler at the Tomatin Distillery near Inverness, Scotland.
GIB is providing half of the £1.2m investment, with a further £600,274 coming from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF). It is being made in partnership with manufacturer of UK wood pellet biomass Balcas.
UK Green Investment Bank CEO Shaun Kingsbury said, ‘I am pleased to be able to announce our first Scottish investment. As well as significant emission reductions, the project will provide a boost to the local economy. We have a strong pipeline of investments in Scotland and hope to be able to announce further investments in Scottish distilleries, as well as other projects, very soon.’
The ESI fund makes up a chunk of GIB’s investment allocation into energy efficiency – one of its priority sectors. GIB awarded the competitive fund mandate to Equitix to invest £50m, to be matched by private investment, in order to drive investment into small-scale low carbon infrastructure in need of under £30m of financing. Equitix also established the EEEF to make investments into energy efficiency.
The boiler to be installed at the Tomatin Distillery will produce steam needed for the production of whisky. It will run on Balcas’ sustainably sourced wood pellet fuel, cutting emissions by over 96,500 tonnes from the previous oil-fired boiler as well as reducing electricity costs for the company.
The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said, ‘The first Scottish deal is a landmark moment for this ground-breaking Edinburgh-headquartered institution. It demonstrates that combining Scotland’s expertise in the financial and green sectors with a strong transaction team in London, can deliver significant benefits for businesses and local communities across Scotland.
‘With the bank confident that more Scottish investments will be announced in the near future, I am certain that UKGIB will play a hugely important role in realising Scotland’s enormous green energy potential, ensuring that we are at the centre of the UK’s low carbon economy.’
The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said, ‘By funding a new biomass boiler, we are helping Tomatin to become more energy efficient and high-tech. This money will also help secure local jobs and support the local supply chain.
‘Despite tough international conditions, whisky exports have done very well. The industry is to be applauded for its achievements. I want to make sure we continue its success as we rebalance the economy and create wealth outside of the south-east of England.’