11th September 2019

Foresight acquires two anaerobic digestion plants

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Foresight Group has acquired two large scale anaerobic digestion (AD) plants which will produce the equivalent combined energy to power 30,000 UK homes.

The independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager’s acquisition is part of the sale of Strutt & Parker (Farms) Limited, one of East Anglia’s oldest and best-known diversified farming businesses.

The Euston and Bay Farm plants are located in Thetford and Newmarket and together the plants will produce approximately 95,000MWh of power per annum. It is expected the portfolio will offset around 10,700 tonnes of CO2 compared electricity generated from coal, on an annual basis.

Both plants are fully operational with remaining operating lives of 17 years for Euston and 18 years for Bay Farm. Further investment in the sites will capture all of the CO2 which will be suitable for use in drinks manufacturing.

Anaerobic digestion is a collection of processes where microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen.

It is used to manage waste or to produce fuels, for industrial or domestic use. Much of the fermentation used industrially to produce food and drink products uses anaerobic digestion, as does home fermentation.

Foresight has previously invested into 35 greenfield and operational AD plants across the UK and Europe. This latest acquisition enables the company to continue to export the team’s deep sector experience to Europe, Australia, North America and beyond.

The transaction is a continuation of the partnership between Foresight and Material Change and its parent company Heathpatch.  As part of the deal, Material Change has entered into long term feedstock supply, digestate offtake and management and maintenance services contracts, while Heathpatch is an equity investor in the projects.

Charlie Sheldon, director at Foresight, said: “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of this AD portfolio alongside our partner Material Change. There is increasing demand from investors for infrastructure assets of this type.

“We look forward to making further acquisitions as part of our wider AD and energy from waste strategy.”

Charles Course, Material Change Ltd and Heathpatch Ltd, said: “We hope that the combination of Foresight’s expertise, and our knowledge and experience in agriculture, waste processing, AD development and operation will make us a first choice for anyone considering the sale, or enhancement, of AD assets.”