The operator of a district heating scheme in Caithness that supplies the Pulteney Distillery is changing hands in a deal worth at least £4 million.
Aim-quoted Ludgate Environmental Fund, which invests in “resource efficiency companies”, has agreed to sell Ignis Biomass to infrastructure investor and fund manager Equitix.
Ludgate said £2.4m will be payable on completion of the deal, with a deferred payment of £1.6m to follow depending on “the achievement of certain performance conditions”.
It added: “Additional payments may also be made up to 31 December 2016 against agreed contractual operating targets.”
Ignis Biomass owns and operates the district heating scheme in Wick, having taken over the operation from the Highland Council in June 2012 and investing £2.5m to convert the system from burning oil to using locally sourced wood chip.
A 3.5 megawatt boiler supplies hot water to almost 200 domestic properties and the Wick Assembly Rooms – the largest public performance venue north of Inverness – via the district heating network. The boiler also supplies steam to the adjacent distillery, where Old Pulteney single malt Scotch is produced.
Ignis, a finalist in last month’s Scottish Green Energy Awards, said: “The district heating scheme makes a real contribution to helping alleviate fuel poverty in an area that has high heating costs, and makes a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.”