John Laing, the international infrastructure investor and asset manager, is delighted to announce it has won two 2014 IJ Global awards in the following categories: ‘European Rail Deal of the Year’ for the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) Phase 2 and ‘European Biomass Deal of the Year’ for its biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Speyside, Scotland.

The Intercity Express Programme (IEP) is an innovative scheme that covers the finance, design, manufacture, delivery into daily service and maintenance over a guaranteed minimum usage period of 26 years of a fleet of 122 state-of-the-art Super Express trains for the Great Western Main Line (GWML Phase 1) and the East Coast Main Line (ECML Phase 2). The trains, offering significantly increased capacity and higher service levels compared to the current fleet, will be manufactured by Hitachi Rail Europe in a new UK factory and maintained in facilities around the country. In January, shipment of the first pre-series Class 800 train for the programme commenced from Kasado Works in Kudamatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan to arrive in Southampton, UK on 16 March.

The Speyside CHP plant project, developed by Estover Energy Ltd, will generate 87.4 GWh per annum of renewable electricity – enough to power more than 20,000 homes and provide heat for Macallan, one of the world’s most iconic whisky distilleries. It will also generate 76.8 GWh per annum of renewable heat. The project will create 123 jobs and support one of Scotland’s most important export industries. John Laing, along with the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), made a £26m equity investment in the project. The remainder of the funding, in the form of debt, came from a bond issued by the project company that was supported by an Infrastructure UK Guarantee, and listed on the London Stock Exchange.

A ground breaking ceremony, marking the start of construction for the project took place late last year and was attended by Danny Alexander MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury.  Other guests included representatives from Macallan Distillery, Moray Council, Moray Economic Partnership, Archiestown Village Council, and Craigellachie Village Council, plus members of the local community.

Olivier Brousse, CEO of John Laing, said: "Both the Intercity Express Programme and Speyside Biomass Combined Heat and Power Plant are industry leading infrastructure projects where John Laing is helping to deliver innovative and effective transport and energy solutions.  We are delighted that our expertise has been recognised by the wider industry.”  

The IJ Global Awards, which were held on 19 February at the Natural History Museum in London, recognise the best in class deals in energy and infrastructure over the past year and are the most prestigious night of the year in the infrastructure calendar.