Biomass such as crops and recycled waste is already being used as a fuel for electricity generation, and can benefit from support as renewable energy under the Renewables Obligation. However, processing of biomass to produce bioethanol and biodiesel is set to grow significantly in coming years, as the need to reduce reliance on existing sources of transportation fuel becomes ever more critical in light of the depletion of North Sea gas reserves, record high energy prices, climate change and security of UK energy supply.
We have designed tax efficient funding structures for capital projects to build biofuel processing facilities, and one of our lawyers advised on the world's largest single biodiesel plant. Our expertise in this area, combined with our specialisms in our chosen sectors of energy, capital projects and banking & funds, as well as our extensive landowner private client base, means we can advise across the "supply chain", for example:
- advice to private landowners and developers as to how best to maximise the opportunities to grow crops for biofuel, including the availability of grant funding and the use of co-operatives with other landowners and similar community schemes
- advising on the contractual and other techniques to manage pricing and other risks, including hedging
- advice on the planning and consent issues associated with the biofuel supply chain
- advice to developers and funders in respect of the funding, construction and operation of biofuel processing facilities, including the availability of enhanced capital allowances and other funding incentives and the construction of related renewable/combined heat and power facilities
- advice to developers, funders and oil companies on biofuel offtake arrangements.