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Helius to Sell Shares for Biomass, Talks to RBS, Lloyds on Loans

Helius Energy Plc, a U.K. biomass developer, plans to raise 6.2 million pounds ($9.6 million) to fund a pipeline of wood-to-power facilities including a 100-megawatt power station in Avonmouth, southwest England.

The company aims to raise 5.2 million pounds placing shares and 1.06 million pounds in an open offer to shareholders, both at 12 pence a share, London-based Helius said today in an e-mailed statement. A 500,000-pound loan by a shareholder will be converted into new shares, the biomass developer said.

Helius will use some of the money to pay for a 300 million-pound project in Avonmouth that has taken longer-than-expected to fund partly because of government delays in setting subsidy levels for renewable projects, according to the statement.

Helius welcomed a government decision in July to maintain state support at current levels to 2016. It’s talking to Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, both of which supported a prior facility, to help fund the Avonmouth plant. The company has agreed initial terms with an investor on raising funds for the project from preferred equity in the first half.

The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change estimates bioenergy plants using wood chips and organic waste to make heat and power may meet 8 percent to 11 percent of primary energy demand in eight years. Britain plans for 15 percent of its energy to come from clean sources by 2020, up from 9.4 percent.

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