27 March 2015

Amber Infrastructure secures £11 million energy investment for St Andrews University, Scotland

~ Green energy infrastructure project to deliver up to 10,000 tonnes of annual carbon dioxide savings and create over 225 jobs for local area ~

Amber Infrastructure Ltd (“Amber”), the leading sponsor and manager of social and economic infrastructure projects, announces that the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (“SPRUCE”) fund will invest £11 million to finance the Guardbridge Energy Centre (“the Centre”), a new £25 million biomass plant and heat distribution network for St. Andrews University.

Located in Guardbridge, Fife, the Centre will save up to 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum by using locally-sourced wood stock from the Scottish forestry market to heat and cool university laboratories and student accommodation. It will provide over 225 jobs during the construction phase and help the University in its objective to become the first carbon-neutral higher education institution.

As the only lender in the project, SPRUCE – the Amber-managed fund which offers loans to regeneration and energy efficiency projects in 13 local authority areas in Scotland – is providing the 9-year loan facility to the University. In partnership with the SPRUCE fund, the Scottish Funding Council and the University itself have granted £10 million and £4 million to the project, respectively.

SPRUCE is part of the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (JESSICA) programme which is being implemented across Europe with the assistance of the European Investment Bank, offering a unique opportunity for public and private co-investment in regeneration and energy developments. SPRUCE is one of three Amber JESSICA funds under management, making it the European market leader in investing JESSICA public funds for a financial and socio-economic return.

The £48 million fund, which uses capital from the European Regional Development Fund and Scottish Government, has now deployed in excess of £40 million in a wide range of regional projects from infrastructure to development of office and commercial space. The project is the Fund’s fifth investment to date and the Fund is on track to be fully deployed by the end of December 2015.

Welcoming Amber’s role in helping to regenerate the Centre, Social Justice Secretary for Scotland, Alex Neil said: “The centre’s projected carbon savings will help the environment and the local area will benefit from the University’s commitment to job creation and apprenticeships. The Scottish Government is using all the levers at its disposal, including European funding, to maximise employment opportunities that help achieve sustainable economic growth.”

Cameron Cook, Head of Origination for Amber Infrastructure in Scotland, said: “The Guardbridge Energy Centre is a ground breaking initiative that will deliver significant economic activity within the area and substantial environmental benefits through carbon dioxide savings. Amber and the SPRUCE Fund are delighted to be participating in the project, realising SPRUCE’s ambitions to help develop social, economic, and green infrastructure in Scotland".

“The transaction demonstrates Amber’s JESSICA fund management expertise and our growing presence in the region. With SPRUCE now heading towards its second investment round, we are committed to investing in regeneration and energy efficiency projects that will provide long-term benefits to local communities throughout Scotland.”

For further information:

Amber Infrastructure Limited
Cameron Cook - +44 (0)131 200 6028
Erica Sibree - +44 (0)20 7939 0558

FTI Consulting
Ed Berry / Mitch Barltrop - +44 (0)20 3727 1046 / 1039

About Amber:

Amber Infrastructure Group (Amber) is a leading international infrastructure specialist, providing asset management and investment advisory services in respect of over £5.1 billion of assets in the UK, Europe, Australia and North America. Amber’s core business focuses on sourcing, developing, advising on, investing in and managing infrastructure assets within the utilities, PPP, transport, renewable energy and regeneration sectors.

Amber provides investment advisory services to International Public Partnerships Limited as well as private investment funds, specialising in urban regeneration and energy efficiency. Amber is headquartered in London with offices in Edinburgh, Munich, Sydney, Melbourne and San Francisco and employs over 80 people, making it one of the largest international infrastructure specialists.

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