Government guarantees have been approved for the construction of 40 projects worth a total of £33Bn under the UK Guarantee scheme, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has announced.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is in China this week to sign a memorandum of understanding on transport infrastructure with the Chinese government, which should pave the way to other projects being funded by Chinese organisations and possibly qualifying for guarantees under the scheme.
About 50% of the projects – only 15 of which have been identified so far – are energy related, including the £16Bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, a £300M biomass plant being built by Helius Energy in Avonmouth, a £400M gas storage facility in Northern Ireland being built by Islandmagee.
Other projects named include two gas fired power plants for Intergen at Spalding, Lincolnshire, and Gateway Energy centre, Essex. The list also has a 3,000 housing development in Aberdeen, the Neart Na Gaoithe windfarm in the Forth estuary and the Able Marine Energy Park, Humberside.
Road and rail also features in the list of projects being guaranteed under the scheme, with the £1Bn London Underground Northern Line extension to Battersea already having prequalified, along with the Mersey Gateway Bridge.
The UK Guarantee scheme is a £40Bn fund that underwrites private funders’ risk if the projects fail to earn anticipated returns. The government sees it as a key part of its strategy to get £200Bn of infrastructure projects under way.