Green bank ready to commit £3bn to environmental firms

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The Independent Online

The Government's £3bn flagship scheme to encourage private sector money into low carbon technology and green initiatives is on the hunt for projects with which to formally launch in October.

Officials preparing the launch of the Green Investment Bank are understood to have met with a number of businesses about committing cash to a number of environmentally friendly schemes, such as recycling plants.

On of the first such projects, a £21m organic waste facility in Dagenham Dock run by the TEG Group, will confirm its funding today. It has received £2m from the Green Investment Bank and further support from the Mayor of London.

The UK Green Investments team, a precursor to the bank, has set up four funds to invest cash in £180m of projects, though each one would typically be worth less than £30m and involve co-investing with the company involved.

The spokesman added that the officials are also looking at other initiatives, including offshore wind, waste recycling facilities, and energy-from-waste projects.

The bank will be run by several heavy-hitters from the private sector. The chairman is Lord Smith of Kelvin, who is chair of energy giant SSE and the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games organising committee, and his deputy is Sir Adrian Montague, who is chairman of private equity group 3i and led the advisory group that set up the bank.

A senior director at a major waste management company said: "We are having a dialogue with the Government ahead of the formation of the Green Investment Bank. The UK has been a really bad place for waste management, for many years only behind countries in Europe like Greece and Portugal."

The bank will be run from bases in London and Scotland. The process of appointing a chief executive is underway, which ministers hope will be finalised before the bank receives its expected approval from the European Union for state aid over the next few months.

The bank has been given the objective of helping the UK transform itself into a low-carbon economy.