Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), Wismar Pellets and PEARL Infrastructure Capital (PEARL) have reached financial close on the Bioenergie Wismar Combined Heat and Power Plant (Bioenergie Wismar) in northern Germany. Located at the Port of Wismar, it is GIG’s first bioenergy project in continental Europe.
Co-developed by GIG and Wismar Pellets, the combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant will generate up to 18 MWe of electricity and 27 MWth of renewable heat. The project’s fuel supply is anchored by Wismar Pellets and ILIM Nordic Timbers, who will provide bark material as a by-product of the companies’ timber operations. Wismar Pellets and ILIM will also contract for the project’s steam output and utilise the heat at neighbouring facilities for timber drying. The project successfully secured an EEG Feed-in-Tariff for its electricity output in November 2020.
For construction funding, GIG has partnered with PEARL, a specialised infrastructure investor, who as majority shareholder will now take the project into construction with Wismar Pellets. Macquarie Capital, the project’s sole financial advisor, also raised a long-term project finance debt facility to support construction which was provided by Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg (LBBW). Commercial operations are anticipated to commence in 4Q2022.
“We’re proud to have brought GIG’s development expertise to this important project. The decarbonisation of heat remains one of our biggest challenges, and projects like Bioenergie Wismar play a crucial role in the transition of industry, and Europe, to a net-zero future”, said Edward Northam, GIG's Head of Europe.
"The Bioenergie Wismar greenfield project sits at the core of PEARL’s investment strategy in environmental infrastructure in Europe. We are delighted to bring our technical and financial expertise to support the combined production of baseload renewable electricity and renewable heat in Germany” commented Jean-Christophe Guimard, PEARL's Chief Operating Officer.
Germany is the fifth largest biomass market in the world, with the technology currently accounting for just over 10% of the country’s total electricity generation mix. It is also playing a critical role in the decarbonisation of industry, producing roughly 99% of all renewable heat used in industrial processes across Europe. Through the generation of renewable heat and power, Wismar Biomass Plant is anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 47 000 tpy of CO2, equivalent to the removal of over 15 500 petrol cars from the road over the lifetime of the project.
GIG has supported the biomass CHP sector since 2012, with one of its first investments being into the Craigellachie CHP plant in Scotland, which provides heat and power to the local Macallan distillery. The company is now active in 12 countries across Europe.
PEARL’s fields of activity include the production of renewable thermal energy, waste recycling and water management, in France and in Europe.