Council payback from botched solar farm deal is £510 million. Loss is in hundreds of millions and it's already cost £30m to recover debt

By Nub News Reporter

21st Feb 2024 | Local News

Cllr Andrew Jefferies.
Cllr Andrew Jefferies.

THURROCK Council has announced it has received just over £510m in payments following the sale of Toucan Energy Holdings, the group of companies it invested in.

The collapse of Toucan was the catalyst for the council's fall off a financial precipice as other investments went wrong, leading to a total debt approaching £1.3 billion.

The council says it will use the cash to pay down debt.

Council leader Cllr Andrew Jefferies, said: "This not only allows us to pay down a significant amount of debt, and reduces the borrowing costs associated with that debt, it also provides further clarity to our financial position as we continue to work towards Thurrock Council's financial recovery.

"There can be no doubt that there is much to still do to stabilise the council finances, however this shows the hard work that is going on in this area."  

The portfolio of 53 solar farms has been acquired by Schroders Greencoat.

Quizzed at last month's full council meeting, Cllr Jefferies was asked how much the council was expecting to pay in total for recovery of the funds through financial experts.

It has been estimated the cost could be £50 million but Cllr Jefferies told members he did not know what the bill would be.

Pressed by Labour opposition leader Cllr John Kent about 'how much was on the meter at the moment?' Cllr Jefferies responded by saying '£30 million!''


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