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Able Marine Energy Park among projects to pass first hurdle to secure government guarantee

THE Humber’s £450m Able Marine Energy Park is among a list of government projects lined up for an infrastructure guarantee.

Energy, road and rail projects worth £33bn have passed the first hurdle in getting a government infrastructure guarantee chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, announced today. 40 projects are now at the stage known as prequalification, meaning that they are eligible for the UK Guarantee scheme. Over half that have prequalified are energy projects.

While further discussions, assessment and due diligence remain, the move could see them secure government agreement to act as a guarantor for a project, giving private lenders confidence that they will get their money back if the project cannot pay. If the government gave a guarantee it would be for a proportion of the capital value of the project, and the scheme is authorised to issue up to £40 billion of guarantees in total.

Of the £40bn of guarantees available, the government has already awarded a £75m guarantee to Yorkshire power plant Drax for its £700m programme to partially convert the UK’s biggest coal power station to biomass. The power station will produce 7% of the UK’s electricity with the biomass conversions set to be up and running over the next three years.

Chief secretary to the Treasury, Rt Hon. Danny Alexander MP said: “Getting our infrastructure right means we can be globally competitive, boost growth and create jobs across the UK. What we see today is the extent to which the government is reaching out to help the private sector build Britain’s key infrastructure.

“Having passed the first hurdle these companies know the government is there to help if they need it. I hope today’s announcement will encourage even more businesses to consider how they can take advantage of a guarantee.”

The scheme is open to major infrastructure in sectors such as energy, transport, communications, waste and housing that are seen as growth boosting projects that will help support the local and national economy.

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