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Africa Renewables forms partnership with Ghana Rubber Estates

Africa Renewables, the newly-formed biomass producer and exporter, has entered into a long-term commercial agreement with Ghana Rubber Estates, a subsidiary of SIFCA, an African agribusiness group.

AfriRen’s partnership is the first between a London-based biomass producer and exporter and an African agro-industrial company and will see USD16m worth of initial investment.

AfriRen has also partnered with Throgmorton UK, the financial and administrative outsourcing firm, which helped structure the new company in the UK. Throgmorton will assist in implementing financial and administrative processes for AfriRen’s UK head office operations.
AfriRen, which aims to become the biggest biomass producer in Africa, expects to export 120,000 tonnes of woodchips per year from 2011 onwards from its operations in Ghana alone.
For this first project AfriRen has finalised an eight-year agreement with SIFCA subsidiary Ghana Rubber Estates covering the extraction and export of woodchip biomass from its rubber tree plantation near Takoradi. Investment in a complete Ghanaian logistics chain and in a new pellet plant will total USD16m over eight years. The project will look to treble the company’s African exports in five years.
Sonia Medina, chief operating officer for AfriRen, says: “We are extremely pleased to announce the launch of our biomass production and exportation business. We are passionate about the development in Africa and are committed to building a company that helps Africa realise its energy generation potential from renewable sources. We want to be the link with European end-users looking to secure long-term biomass supply contracts or firms seeking investment in renewable energy electricity generation in the African continent.”
Andrew Rubio, chief executive of Throgmorton, adds: “We are delighted to be working with AfriRen. This is an exciting engagement with a huge amount of potential for growth and we are in place to assist in the company’s structuring in order that Sonia and Jean-François can concentrate on the day-to-day running of the business. We are also in place to source external advisers to help AfriRen expand.”

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