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UK waste company seeks cash to develop energy

UK-based waste treatment company New Earth Group aims to raise 15 million pounds ($25.14 million) to diversify into power generation and says it can generate 20%-plus returns under new incentives.

Britain has increased support for renewable electricity generated from biomass including wood and waste in a drive to cut dependence on imported gas and to fight climate change.

In a fund-raising launched on Monday privately-owned New Earth Group said it could earn a 25%-30% rate of return from investment in a typical 5-megawatt (MW) plant burning combustible gases produced from fermented or heated rubbish.

“These funds will allow New Earth to accelerate the growth of its waste treatment plants and recover renewable energy,” said Bill Riddle, chairman, in a statement.

The company expects to sell up to 15% of its equity in order to raise 15 million pounds, under plans to build about 100 MW electricity-generating capacity.

At present it takes municipal general household rubbish and separates and sells the recyclable components, sends some waste to landfill, and composts the rest to produce a soil-like substance used to spread on farmland or to in landscaping.

Challenges remain for waste companies, including winning permits for sites which require many truck deliveries daily.

“You always get some (public opposition) but we're finding acceptance levels are higher,” said Riddle. “There's becoming an acceptance you have to deal with waste somehow, and that you can use it to produce low-carbon energy.” (Reuters)