Stobart announces project to construct a £110m, 20.2MWe/ 7.8MWth CHP plant in Widnes


Stobart announces project to construct a £110m, 20.2MWe/ 7.8MWth CHP plant in Widnes.

In conjunction with the project the Group has signed a 16 year index-linked fuel supply agreement. The project will be the largest waste wood renewable energy plant in the North West.


The CHP plant is scheduled to commence operations in December 2016 and will generate returns for the Group’s complementary Energy, Infrastructure and Rail (Civil Engineering) divisions.

  • Stobart Energy will supply 146,000 tonnes p.a. of recycled waste wood to the CHP Plant over 16 years (initial revenue of £5.7m p.a., index linked over the life of the agreement, equating to an estimated £108m)
  • Stobart Energy will operate an adjacent wood drying facility using the heat from the CHP Plant. This facility will dry 140,000 tonnes p.a. of virgin wood material and produce an output of 90,000 tonnes p.a. for sale into the small scale market (expected revenue of over £200m during the life of the agreement)
  • These volumes represent 24% of the increase required to achieve Stobart Energy’s fuel supply target of 2m tonnes p.a. by 2017/18
  • Stobart Infrastructure is investing £7.5m for a 40% interest in the plant’s holding company and will realise £2m from the sale of the 4 acre site on which the CHP Plant and the wood drying facility will be built
  • Stobart Rail (Civil Engineering) expects to generate around £15m of civil engineering revenue from the project

Richard Butcher, CEO Stobart Energy & Infrastructure commented,

“This agreement secures an attractive energy investment for the Group and will contribute 24% of the growth we need to achieve our target of supplying 2m tonnes of fuel per annum into the UK biomass market by 2017/18 from 1m tonnes per annum at present . It also demonstrates the strength of our integrated infrastructure, energy and engineering capabilities.

This CHP Plant will generate a strong return on investment in the plant’s equity as well as providing the Group with a 16 year biomass fuel supply contract, a long-term wood drying income stream and valuable engineering revenue on the development.

Increasingly, we are seen as being a very reliable fuel supplier and so the partner of choice, which is why we are already the leading UK supplier of biomass, a position which we anticipate strengthening further.”