The UK Green Investment Bank and John Laing Group have together committed £48m to the 27.7MW Cramlington combined heat and power plant, which is being developed by Estover Energy.
The construction of the plant will be undertaken by a consortium of Danish firms Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractors (BWSC), the consortium leader, and Burmeister & Wain Energy (BWE).
BWSC will also operate the plant under a 12-year operations & maintenance contract.
The biomass plant is expected to generate 213 GWh of electricity a year. Norwegian state-owned electricity company Statkraft has committed to buying much of the generated electricity a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA). Electricity will also be supplied to local pharmaceutical businesses operating in an adjacent industrial estate.
The UK Green Investment Bank is investing £21m in the project, with Laing investing £27m. Barclays will provide the remainder of the funding as debt, 60% of which will be guaranteed by the Danish export credit agency EKF.
John Laing Group managing director of renewable energy Ross McArthur said: “Our investment in Cramlington biomass CHP plant builds on the success of our partnership with Estover and GIB established on Speyside Renewable Energy plant. This exciting new project demonstrated the valuable contribution biomass can make to delivering renewable heat in the UK.”
Estover Energy founder and co-chief executive Marcus Whately said: "Nearly £140m invested in the Cramlington CHP plant is fantastic news for the northeast and for Estover. It means more jobs in forestry, and a secure energy supply for industry. Twice the size of our first plant in Scotland, it shows Estover is becoming a real force in these long-term energy and infrastructure projects."