More than half are energy projects, including Helius Energy’s Avonmouth biomass project, the Islandmagee gas storage project in Northern Ireland, two Intergen gas-fired power stations in Lincolnshire and Essex, and the Neart Na Gaoithe wind farm in Scotland.
A government guarantee for a proportion of the capital value of a project is intended to encourage private investment by providing investors with confidence that they will get their money back if the scheme does not pay. The UK Guarantee scheme is authorised to issue up to £40bn of guarantees.
Until today, only the Drax power station conversion project had got a government guarantee. In April Drax Group was allocated a £75m guarantee for its £700m coal-to-biomass conversion.
Several other projects had also already prequalified for guarantees, including the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, London Underground’s Northern Line extension and the Mersey Gateway bridge.
With the addition of the latest 15, there are now 40 projects that have been selected for the scheme, with a total capital value of £33bn. Some have yet to be named publicly for reason of commerical confidentiality.
The 15 prequalified projects announced today are:
- £300m 100 MW biomass energy generation facility by Helius Energy in Avonmouth
- £400m Islandmagee gas storage project in Northern Ireland
- Two Intergen gas-fired power plants at Spalding in Lincolnshire and Gateway Energy Centre in Essex
- Countesswells mixed-use development of homes, business spaces and shops in Aberdeen
- Neart Na Gaoithe 450MW windfarm in the outer Forth Estuary
- Able Marine Energy Park port facility for offshore renewable energy technologies on Humberside
- Chinook Energy plants, producing renewable energy from waste at sites around the UK
- Gasrec producer of low-carbon fuel for UK commercial vehicle fleets
- University of Roehampton campus redevelopment in south London
- Relocation of Northampton University
- Tilbury Green Power 60MW waste wood-fired power generation plant in Essex
- Five Quarter Energy plant to process unconventional North Sea gas in the North East.
Treasury secretary Danny Alexander said: "Getting our infrastructure right means we can be globally competitive, boost growth and create jobs across the UK. What we see today is the extent to which the government is reaching out to help the private sector build Britain's key infrastructure.
"Having passed the first hurdle, these companies know the government is there to help if they need it. I hope today's announcement will encourage even more businesses to consider how they can take advantage of a guarantee."