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Iona Capital

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Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes for a prosperous New Year!

From the team at Iona Capital

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Iona Capital Ltd, a leading investor in the UK biogas market, has completed an investment in a second anaerobic digestion (“AD”) plant in  Scotland. The plant, located at Charlesfield near St Boswells in the Scottish Borders, will process a mixture of farm based feedstocks and inject biomethane directly into the local gas grid. This project follows on from Iona’s first Scottish project at Coupar Angus, Perth, which is expected to start its commissioning process shortly. The Charlesfield, St Boswells plant is Iona’s eleventh AD project in the UK and its second gas to grid facility.  

The plant is expected to be operational by the end of Q2 2015 and will produce over 3m m3 of biomethane per annum which will be injected directly into the local gas grid.  Iona has once again teamed up with MT Energie, the German AD specialist and Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) who will source the network entry equipment and oversee the projects connection to the gas grid. The project was initiated and developed by Iain MacKinnon and Trevor Jackson of Charlesfield First LLP.  Biogas Power will be responsible for the day to day operation of the plant. Waverley Farm Contracts Limited sources local feedstock supplies on a long term basis for the plant.

The project is in line with the Scottish Government’s roadmap for renewable energy as it will produce clean renewable energy sufficient to provide the annual energy requirements for over 1000 households. The UK currently imports over 50% of its gas requirements which is expected to increase to 70% by 2020 with the forecast decline in North Sea production. Energy security is therefore an increasingly critical issue and alternative solutions are being sought. An established UK Biogas industry could supply up to 10% of the UK’s total gas requirements.    

Nick Ross, Director at Iona Capital said: “ Iona is building a diverse portfolio of biogas assets in the UK which produce renewable energy. The biogas market continues to offer significant long term growth potential and attractive risk weighted returns to investors.”

Iain MacKinnon of Charlesfield First LLP said  “ Trevor Jackson and I were very pleased to work with Iona as experts in the funding and delivery of AD projects”.

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Iona Capital, the environmentally focussed investor, has today announced the successful investment into Stanley Renewable Energy Limited a joint venture company with developer JFS & Associates Limited and a family run Farm in Cumbria. As an experienced investor in larger Anaerobic Digestion (AD) transactions, this is Iona’s first investment in the smaller scale farm based AD market.
JFS & Associates will act as a development partner and construct a new 250kW AD plant at Ponsonby Old Hall Farm in Cumbria. The farm will supply the feedstock from existing farm wastes such as manure and slurry, supplemented with energy crops. Stanley Renewable Energy will generate renewable electricity from the anaerobic digestion process, receiving income under the Feed in Tariff Scheme, with the electricity being used on the farm or sold to the National Grid.  The farm will have the benefit of free heat from the plant and the use of the digestate bi-product on the land as a bio-fertilizer.
This facility will not only provide an elegant solution for processing organic waste and generating renewable energy for distribution into the local network, but it will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with spreading farm waste on land. This will therefore contribute to the Government’s commitment to deliver “zero waste” by 2020 and increase renewable energy generation. This is the first of a number of schemes that are to be developed and funded in this manner by Iona and JFS, with two further farm scale projects in North Yorkshire planned for construction in early 2013.
Mike Dunn, Director, Iona Capital said: “We believe that Anaerobic Digestion technology provides an excellent opportunity for farmers to benefit from new streams of income through the clean production of electricity and reduction of costs on farm. Iona Capital is entering a new small scale AD market and is providing financial stimulation for growth and development of Anaerobic Digestion in the UK.”
Matthew Flint, Director, JFS & Associates Ltd. said “We see this scheme as a fantastic way for farmers to benefit from the drive towards more renewable energy sources. It’s also a real partnership where both sides benefit from the others’ resources and expertise.  Our strategy is to dovetail into the farms existing business, with JFS taking care of the project delivery, allowing the farmer to continue to do what he does best.”

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ona Capital, the environmentally focussed investor, announces the successful completion of an investment in Gradena Limited, a Joint Venture company between Gradsol Ltd and Dena Technology Ltd, an outstanding provider of nanotechnology solutions. Dena Technology has an impressive track record of involvement in 15 separate areas of business development: pharmaceuticals, application & manufacturing of semiconductors, rubber recycling etc. Gradena Ltd will manufacture highly homogeneous wood replacement goods from waste tyres and recycled UPVC using a patented process – nano surface intensification.  Gradsol is a management consultancy company that specialises in sustainability and operational consultancy, particularly in the waste sector. 
The EU Landfill Directive prohibited the whole tyres to landfill from July 2003 and was extended to cover shredded tyres in July 2006. With this ban in place, Iona Capital is helping to develop new facilities for the re-use and recycling of waste tyres.  Iona’s investment is an important step in supporting tyre recycling technology that creates no harmful emissions and recycles all by-products.
Gradena is planning to process around 1200 tonnes of waste tyres in year 1 and increase this number by installing more production lines. The end product can be moulded and cut into a wide range of shapes to meet customer needs and will have specific physical and chemical properties that make it more desirable than natural alternatives.  The wood replacement product will be far less susceptible to degradation from adverse conditions such as heat, cold, dampness, wind, insects and UV.  At the end of their life cycle Gradena products can be recycled.   
Nick Ross, Director of Iona Capital, said: “Iona is fully committed to providing funding for the development of environmental projects which help to achieve the zero waste to landfill target. This project is an excellent example of supporting leading edge technology and producing value added products which overcome the growing issue of waste tyres.”
Robert Paley, Finance Director at Gradsol, said: “This project achieves not only strong financial performance but also delivers significant environmental benefits. The main selling point of the end products is that they are much more durable than their traditional counterparts and they provide considerable additional commercial benefits.  The efficient use of recycled tyres and UPVC not only reduces waste volumes; these wastes can be used to produce recyclable, new products.  We even expect to have “off-cuts” and “end-of life” recovery programmes so that nothing is wasted. The products also reduce reliance on wood and other, non-, or less, sustainable construction products.  Gardena’s process is eco-friendly and supports our sustainability initiate.”
Dr Brian Sulaiman, the technology’s inventor explained that the blending of nanomaterials with waste rubber and UPVC leads to the creation of an exciting new material that has a very wide range of potential properties.
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