GreenEnergyPark™: Creating Wealth For Rural KwaZulu-Natal
The GreenEnergyPark™ will provide the platform for a projected R350million pa business that brings additional profits to the farmlands and generates employment. It is set in uThukela District Municipality, the most western area of the KwaZulu-Natal province (South Africa). uThukela is a highly accessible (incl. rail), but its 11,500km2 agriculture area is under utilised. uThukela has a very high unemployment rate.
Our preferred biomass is corncobs and turning it into furfural and electricity is the core of the GreenEnergyPark™. The project is viable on the basis of the furfural production with a payback period of less than five years and an after tax IRR in the 20%s. The furfural sales will be secured via off-take agreements. In addition, the GreenEnergyPark™ will provide the infrastructure and electricity for other enterprises (most likely, but not exclusively) in the agri-processing sector and/or, alternatively, the development of a furfural-downstream processing cluster for the manufacture of other high-value bio-renewable chemicals.
We envisaged to finance the project as follows:
In an series-A round we wishes to raise R18,000,000 in exchange for 20-25% share holding in the uThukela GreenEnergyPark™ SPV. These funds would be used for the activities and the development of the legal documents that are required to secure the project debt.
The investor will have a first right of refusal to participate in the series-B finance, during which we shall raise the balance of the funding, which will consist of additional equity and the project loan. We already have expression of interest from project finance institutions who wish to provide the senior debt at prime or prime+1% on a 30:70 equity:debt gearing.
The uThukela GreenEnergyPark™ business plan expects a strong cash-flow, which should fund the working capital. As a contingency, however, we plan to raise working capital via a short term loan.
GreenEnergyPark™: Turning corncobs into chemicals and energy is the core of the GreenEnergyPark™, which provides the infrastructure for other enterprises (most likely, but not exclusively) in the agri-processing sector.