AfriRen obtains finance for Ghanaian rubber biomass

 AfriRen obtains finance for Ghanaian rubber biomassBIOMASS producer Africa Renewables (AfriRen) has secured a US$5 million credit facility from Standard Chartered Bank Ghana to support its first biomass energy project in Africa. AfriRen will use part of the finance to build a wood chip factory and storage facilities at its site near the Ghanaian port of Takoradi.

The site is being developed by its Takoradi Renewable Energy subsidiary as part of an US$8 million investment by AfriRen in biomass production in the West African nation.

Founded in 2010, AfriRen harvests redundant rubber trees that are cleared for replanting and processes them into woodchip biomass for export to Europe.

Last October, the company signed a five-year supply agreement with Danish utility Verdo for the entire woodchip production of its debut project, under which AfriRen expects to ship 750,000 tonnes – doubling biomass exports from Africa to Europe by 2016.

AfriRen also hopes to raise up to US$30 million more to replicate the Ghana project elsewhere in Africa. The project is facilitated by an eight-year partnership with Ghana Rubber Estates Ltd (GREL), a subsidiary of SIFCA, the no. 1 West African agro-industrial group with a US$600 million turnover.(PRA)