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AfriRen and GREL sign contract

A UK-based producer and exporter of biomass has entered into a long-term partnership with Africa-based SIFCA’s subsidiary.

Africa Renewables (AfriRen) and Ghana Rubber Estates (GREL) are to collaborate for eight years in order to develop renewable energy projects in Africa.

During the agreement biomass in the form of woodchips will be extracted from GREL’s rubber tree plantation near Takoradi and exported. This alone is expected to treble Africa’s biomass exports throughout the next five years.

AfriRen is hoping to begin exporting around 120,000 tonnes of woodchips annually by 2011, making it Africa’s largest biomass producer. The deal is also a first between a UK producer and exporter of biomass and an African-based agribusiness.

Much of the biomass which is currently imported to Europe originates from the US. The new partnership is now expected to form connections between African businesses and European energy companies.

‘We want to be the link with European end-users looking to secure long-term biomass supply contracts or firms seeking investment in a renewable energy electricity generation in the African continent,’ explains Sonia Medina, COO of AfriRen.