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Investors in renewable energy bonds set to lose £2.5m

Investors in renewable energy bonds set to lose £2.5m

Clients of a company which sold investments in renewable energy plants look set to lose their entire £2.5m investment.

UK Renewable Investments plc was wound up in 2019 after selling corporate bonds to 208 investors, who were told their funds would go towards developing plants which generated renewable energy.

Bondholders were also told their bonds would generate an interest rate of 11 per cent per annum over a five-year term, which UK Renewable Investments promised would be paid every six months after the first year. 

But the majority of the £2.5m raised was loaned to a separate company, Bio Green Energy Ltd, to pay for the construction of plants in Northern Ireland, which were never completed. 

After Bio Green Energy was placed into administration in May 2017, bondholders look set to lose their entire investment after administrators applied for the company to be dissolved with no funds available to pay back investors. 

In the latest report on Companies House administrators for Bio Green Energy confirmed nothing had been paid to UK Renewable Investments, despite it being registered as a secured creditor. 

Unless a court intervenes, Bio Green Energy will be dissolved by the end of April this year. 

At a hearing to wind up UK Renewable Investments in April 2019, the court heard Bio Green had only paid loan interest to the investment company totalling about £15,000, which in turn had only made interest payments to its bondholders of slightly more than £14,000.

At the time the Insolvency Service said UK Renewable Investments had traded with a "lack of commercial probity". 

The service warned the company had "failed to exercise appropriate governance and control" over how the funds were spent and it was the "investors who would suffer". 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com