Accra, Ghana — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 25 January 2012 – Takoradi Renewable Energy Limited “’ a subsidiary of the biomass producer and trader Africa Renewables Limited “’ has secured a credit facility of US$5 million from Standard Chartered Bank in Ghana to support what it claims is its first biomass energy project in Africa.
After deals with GREL and Verdo Energy, the loan finalises AfriRen’s Ghana distribution chain and should see the company double total biomass exports from Africa to Europe by 2016.
Founded in 2010, AfriRen will invest a total of US$8 million in its biomass extraction chain in Ghana, and will seek further funding of up to US$30 million in order to replicate the project across the West African region, benefitting from the upswing in European demand for biomass.
AfriRen harvests redundant rubber trees that are cut in order to prepare for replanting, and processes them into woodchips, helping displace the burning of coal and assisting Europe meet its renewable energy policy target.
The US$5 million credit facility is split into two components. Firstly a capital expenditure loan of US$3 million, which will be spent on a variety of new assets including development of their existing land near the port of Takoradi into a factory workshop and storage space for the woodchips.
The second component is a working capital facility of $2 million for operational expenses.
On being awarded the credit facility, COO Sonia Medina, said: “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 a firm foundation while allowing us the freedom to expand quickly elsewhere in West Africa.”
The socio-economic advantages for both continents are unparalleled with Europe receiving a secure, long-term supply of biomass and Africa developing a sustainable green economy.