Tuesday, March 28

UK Battery Firm Zenobe Raises £241 Million for EV Expansion

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(Bloomberg) — A British energy storage developer has secured a bumper debt package that will help accelerate its work on electric vehicles.

Zenobe Energy Ltd. has signed a financing platform worth as much as 241 million pounds ($326 million) to help service and fund as many as 430 new electric buses in the UK and Ireland, the London-based company said. It designs, builds and operates battery systems for power and transport, and aims to electrify or help run 3,000 buses by 2025.

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The lending comes amid a surge in green financing that’s helped accelerate the global transition to low-carbon energy, with electric transport one of the largest areas of growth. In 2021, global investment in climate-friendly projects totaled $755 billion, up from $595 billion in 2020 and just $264 billion in 2011, according to BloombergNEF.

Zenobe’s debt deal may signal that investors are becoming more receptive to UK energy storage. Battery projects in Britain have tended to struggle getting debt financing because of long-term revenue uncertainty, according to BNEF analyst Nelson Nsitem.

The new package, structured by NatWest Group Plc, is a combination of a 15-year loan of 116 million pounds and a 125 million-pound revolving credit facility. The debt was signed late last week and includes green loan frameworks to define how the money will be spent in alignment with environmental principles.

Zenobe, which is building one of Europe’s largest batteries, secured 150 million pounds in November 2020 from Infracapital, the infrastructure investment arm of asset manager M&G Plc.

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