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Aggregated Micro wants woodchips with everything

Boilers are an area of the green fuel business that have come under increasing scrutiny from the Cameron government.
Aggregated Micro wants woodchips with everything
Forest Fuels is one the UK's largest suppliers

Aggregated Micro Power Holdings PLC’s (LON:AMPH) acquisition last year of Forest Fuels made it one of the UK’s largest woodchip suppliers.

It’s a position it has since consolidated with further acquisitions to build the ‘verticals’ for this supplier of biomass-fuelled boilers used by schools, care homes and business parks,

The most recent deal was the acquisition of PEL Fuel.

The consideration was £5mln, mostly in shares, while AMP is raising a further £1.9mln through a convertible issue.

Richard Burrell, AMP’s chief executive, said that with the addition of PEL its Forest Fuels operation is now also one of leading suppliers of wood fuels in the UK.

PEL generated revenues of £10.1mln and profits of £0.27mln in the year to last March.

Allied to the core biomass boiler business, revenues in the year to March 2017 should exceed £15mln, Burrell added.

Boilers the core

Once a boiler project is finished it is taken over by a special purpose investment vehicle AMPIL, which frees up capital to fund more new projects.

AMP provides fuel for the boilers (wood chip and wood pellets) and commissions and installs them on a long term contract.

What the government wants

The government's recent Renewable Heat Incentive changes through to 2021 have also helped the strategy of installing larger biomass installations with commercial heat users.

Thresholds increased the amount of heat available under tier 1 from 15% to 35%.

“These changes together with a lock-in mechanism for the tariff during construction of consented projects, helps to de-risk the development process and should enable us to develop out our pipeline of new installs through to 2021,” said Burrell.

A second investment vehicle to run boiler projects installed by AMP, AMPIL2, was launched in October and this will utilise both AMP to install boilers but also buy fuel from Forest Fuels.

Peaking plant progress

AMP is also branching out into power supply and has over 80Mws of grid balancing projects with planning permission and grid connection offers. These peaking projects kick-in when demand is overwhelming the grid.

In January, it got funding (£14mln) for its first peaking plant.

Located on the Kingsnorth Industrial Estate in Kent the Ashford Power project will comprise some 21Mw of natural gas reciprocating engines, which will sell into the grid at times of peak demand.

The financing is provided by funds managed by Triple Point Investment Management.

"This is our first peaking plant project to reach financial close,” said Burrell.

“AMPH will earn project development fees, on-going operation and maintenance fees and has shares in the project which are subject to a hurdle return being achieved by Triple Point.”

The market liked the development sending the shares up 7% to 72.9p and valuing the company at just short of £26mln.




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Aggregated Micro Power Holdings plc Timeline

January 19 2017

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