The Mayor of London’s Energy Efficiency Fund (‘MEEF’), managed by Amber Fund Management Limited (‘Amber Infrastructure’), has provided a £12m loan to Westminster Council (‘Westminster’). The loan partly finances the 45 new electric refuse collection vehicles and charging infrastructure to be operated by Veolia from a new fully electric depot at Landmann Way, near Bermondsey.
Westminster will gradually replace its entire 80-strong truck fleet, in the biggest decarbonisation programme of its kind by a UK local authority. The vehicles are being delivered by Dennis Eagle Limited in Warwick. Westminster’s fleet of vehicles will be operated by its environmental partner Veolia.
In total Westminster has invested £20m in the 45 new zero-emission trucks which will be introduced over the coming weeks in a ground-breaking initiative that will benefit residents by reducing vehicle noise, cutting air pollution and drastically reducing the borough’s carbon emissions.
The electric vehicles will charge their batteries by drawing electric power from an adjacent energy recovery facility which uses the waste collected from homes and businesses in Westminster. The state-of-the-art vehicles are fully zero-emission and will replace diesel vehicles, saving c.2,000 tonnes of CO2 from polluting the environment each year.
Westminster’s fleet, operated by Veolia, completes 50 million collections every year and each electric vehicle saves up to 89% CO2e compared to a diesel-powered fleet. Veolia worked to procure, design and operate the new depot and charging infrastructure which will be capable of charging 54 vehicles simultaneously. Smart charging will allow the partnership to support the National Grid by receiving power at non-peak times to maximise local resources and strengthen the Grid’s resilience.
This Project represents MEEF’s first financing of electric refuse collection vehicles, a sector MEEF hopes to make further investments in over the remaining 17 months of its Investment Period. MEEF’s funding package included senior debt provided by NatWest.
Peter Radford, Director of MEEF, Amber Infrastructure commented: “We are delighted to work with Westminster and Veolia to support this large scale deployment of electric refuse collection vehicles. We hope that this project will act as a catalyst for other local authorities in the Capital to transition their fleets to zero-emission. We look forward to working with Westminster on other innovative projects in the coming months.”
Seb Dance, Deputy Mayor for Transport said: “I welcome this ambitious plan by Westminster to decarbonise its refuse collection fleet, supported by funding from the Mayor. We need to see more zero-emission vehicles on the capital’s streets in order to tackle the devastating effects of toxic air pollution on Londoners’ health and to meet our ambitious target for London to reach net zero by 2030.
“Westminster’s new electric refuse collection fleet will not only improve the air in central London but will also benefit residents by reducing vehicle noise. This shows the vital role public-sector funds can play in reaching our net-zero goal, as we build a greener and better London for everyone.”
Pascal Hauret, Managing Director Veolia UK Municipal said:“It’s fantastic to see our teams working together with Westminster City Council to deliver a cleaner, greener and quieter service for residents, businesses and visitors across the city. “Using the waste we collect to power the electric fleet is an exciting innovation because that creates a local loop of energy, using local resources to run local services. I’m incredibly proud of the solutions Veolia and Westminster are pioneering together to build the sustainable municipal services we need, now and in the future."
Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality, said: “By replacing diesel-powered refuse trucks with a £20m investment in UK-built electric vehicles, Westminster City Council is voting with its fleet. The trailblazing electrification will deliver an essential service that is quieter for residents, improves air quality in central London and reduces our fleet emissions by 50 per cent, or 2,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. This is a significant moment in the evolution of sustainable council services and we look forward to further expanding our zero-emission vehicle fleet in the future.”
Since launching in July 2018, MEEF has mobilised over £390m of funding for net zero project across the Capital, saving c.30,250 tonnes of carbon dioxide and reduced energy usage by 39.2 GWh.
Please contact MEEF (email@example.com) to discuss a potential application further.
Further information on MEEF can be found at: www.meef.co.uk
Further information on Amber Infrastructure can be found at: www.amberinfrastructure.com
 Based on Westminster Council figures, MEEF uses a 2018 Carbon Factor and has estimated that the fleet will save over 3,500 tonnes of CO2
NOTES TO EDITORS:
MEEF will provide a mixture of senior debt, mezzanine debt and equity to London’s public-sector property owners and small-to-medium-sized businesses, including but not exclusively, Local Authorities, NHS Trusts, Registered Providers, Higher and Further Education organisations, Charities and Voluntary Organisations, ESCOs and SMEs. MEEF can fund both up to 100 per cent of the capital cost of a project and part-fund large-scale regeneration projects which demonstrate low-carbon credentials.
About Amber Infrastructure Group
Amber Infrastructure (‘Amber’) is a specialist international investment manager, focused on investment origination, asset management and fund management. With over €5.5 billion in funds under management, Amber invests across eight funds and a number of managed accounts.
Amber’s core business focuses on sourcing, developing, advising, investing in and managing infrastructure assets across the public, transport, energy, digital and demographic infrastructure sectors that support the lives of people, homes and businesses internationally.
Amber is headquartered in London with offices in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Amber employs approximately 180 infrastructure professionals globally and manages over 175 investments.
About European Regional Development Fund
The project is receiving up to £51m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding