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Africa Renewables receives investment for Ghana biomass development

An African renewable energy company has secured $5 million (€3.8 million) in fundraising to develop its first biomass energy project on the continent.

Takoradi Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of Africa Renewables and a biomass producer and trader, received the funding from Standard Chartered Bank in Ghana.

The money will be used to double the company’s biomass exports to Europe by 2016, and follows investment from Ghana Rubber Estates and Verdo Energy to establish the distribution chain.

Africa Renewables will also invest $8 million and will ask for a further $30 million in funding to reproduce a similar project throughout West Africa.

The system works by harvesting redundant rubber trees that are turned into woodchips, reducing the emissions that are normally produced through the burning of coal.

The new $5 million investment will be split into a capital expenditure loan of $3 million, to be spent on new assets such as developing existing land near the Takoradi Port, turning it into a factory workshop and woodchip storage facility.

The other $2 million will be spent on operational expenses.

Africa Renewables COO, Sonia Medina, says: ‘Standard Chartered has the credibility, reach and reputation we want. They are the leading bank in West Africa. Most importantly they have been extremely enthusiastic about our project and future plans from day one. The credit facility gives us firm foundations while allowing us the freedom to expand quickly elsewhere in West Africa.’

Back in October, Africa Renewables signed a five year supply deal with Verdo, a Danish utility company, to produce woodchips.

The company predicts about 750,000 tonnes of woodchips will be delivered to Europe under these new investments.