DLA Piper advises Stobart on construction of £110m CHP biomass plant

DLA Piper has advised Stobart Group on a project to construct a £110m combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant at its site in Widnes. The project will be the largest waste wood renewable energy plant in the north west of England.

Stobart Infrastructure is making an equity investment of £7.5m for a 40 per cent interest in the CHP plant’s holding company, Mersey Bioenergy. The Green Investment Bank will provide 49 per cent of the equity (via its Foresight-managed fund) and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC), the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor, will take an 11 per cent stake.

BWSC, a Danish developer, contractor and operator of large-scale power plants globally, will manage the facility under a long-term operation and maintenance contract. Stobart Energy will supply the plant with 146,000 tonnes of waste wood material per annum over a 16-year contractual period.

Stobart Infrastructure will own the group’s investment in MBL. The CHP plant will be built on four acres of Stobart Infrastructure’s 90-acre logistics hub in Widnes. The four-acre site will be sold by Stobart Infrastructure to MBL for £2m. Stobart Rail will construct the dryer facility, procure the equipment and install it.

The DLA Piper team was led by partner Darren Walsh, who was supported by a cross-group team including Abigail Mathews, Anthony Santangeli, Tom Kelsall, Charlie Weems and Ciaran Stone.