DEFRA announces £10m loan fund for AD plants

DEFRA has announced a £10m Anaerobic Digestion Loan Fund (ADLF) for new AD plants.

The ADLF, which will be administered by the Waste Resources Action Programme, will lend amounts ranging from £50,000 – £1m to support the development of new AD capacity in England, in conjunction with investment from the private sector.

It aims to support 300,000 tonnes of annual capacity to divert food waste from landfill by 2015.

Lending will be asset based and can include industrial units, plant and machinery, and groundwork.

The projects will be selected through a competitive process in four phases, the first of which will run from July-October 2011, it was announced a UK AD & Biogas.

Charlotte Morton, chief executive of Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association, said the fund was welcome news. 

“However, it represents only a small part of the investment which is needed to take AD to the point where it is really delivering for the UK’s strategic objectives – and raising finance remains the biggest barrier for projects.

“Meeting the UK’s 2020 commitments on landfill diversion and renewable energy require high investment in new capacity over the next few years. That simply isn’t happening while investors are being put off by mixed messages from government, and while they remain unwilling to direct Local Authorities to take a course they have already said realises the most benefit.

“The Government needs to build on this announcement by grasping the nettle to encourage wider private finance into the market. This doesn’t require more money from the taxpayer – simply clear statements that organic waste feedstock should be source segregated and prioritised for AD.”

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