A PIONEERING energy plant on Teesside yesterday became the first in Britain to be handed funding from the Government’s new green energy bank.
Earthly Energy’s plant at Forty Foot Road, Middlesbrough, has been handed £8m by the bank, which was officially declared “open for business” by Business Secretary Vince Cable.
The Green Investment Bank (GIB), funded with £3bn of Government money, was described as an essential part of wider plans, including the coalition’s Energy Bill.
The Teesside plant is the first of six planned by the company across the country after it secured five more sites in the United Kingdom, including Lancashire, South Wales, Devon and Kent.
It is part of a £100m investment plan, in what will be a leading anaerobic digestion platform in the UK.
The £8m secured from the GIB will be matched with a further £8m from the private sector, according to the Government.
Green bank chief executive Shaun Kingsbury told an audience of industry figures his aims for the new institution at the formal launch in Edinburgh, where it is headquartered. Several North East locations had been in the running to host the facility.
“The financial markets are in turmoil. They’re finding it’s difficult to provide capital, but more importantly they’re finding it difficult to provide the right type of capital,” he said.
“I’d like to stress that the Green Investment Bank is a for-profits bank. To take one message away from today, it is that one. As a custodian of the taxpayers’ money, we understand the responsibilities to the public and the Government.”