Private equity firm EOS Capital to inject US$60 million in Namibian seaweed farming enterprise

Image Source: Rama's Rooted Tree

NAMIBIA – EOS Capital, a Namibian private equity fund manager has partnered with Climate Fund Managers (CFM) to invest US$ 60 million (N$990 million) in Kelp Blue, a sustainable oceanic aquaculture enterprise focused on addressing the challenges of climate change and restoring the health of marine ecosystems through commercially viable solutions.

The planned investment will be contributed by EOS Capital through its Namibia Infrastructure Development and Investment Fund (NIDIF). While, CFM will also chip in via its second financing facility, Climate Investor Two.

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Spread for a period of five-years, the funding will be utilized in the commercial development of the world’s first large-scale kelp farm.

Kelp is a fast-growing seaweed and has the ability to sequester more CO2 than terrestrial forests while boosting marine biodiversity and improving fish stocks.

It also generates additional ecological benefits, including counteracting ocean acidification and de-oxygenation.

In food, some Kelp varieties are used as flavourings, tenderizers and alginate, a kelp-derived carbohydrate, is used to thicken products such as ice cream, jelly, salad dressing.

“We are proud to partner with Kelp Blue in its efforts to accelerate marine biodiversity resilience.”

Andrew Johnstone – CEO of Climate Fund Managers

With the investment, Kelp Blue will cultivate giant kelp in nutrient-rich waters 3-10 kilometres off the coast of Namibia, near Lüderitz, Southwestern Namibia.

This is after seeking the necessary Namibian regulatory approvals and liaising closely with local authorities.

The business model, according to CFM will add value across the entire kelp value-chain.

Through the introduction of offshore engineering innovations and novel processing technologies, overheads will be reduced and increase scalable process efficiencies.

Economic development will be promoted through the creation of value-added products in Namibia for local consumption and export.

In addition, it will create employment opportunities in coastal communities and contribute to economic growth in outlying areas.

“We look forward to repaying the confidence that Climate Fund Managers and Eos Capital have placed in us by ensuring the success of this project, creating meaningful employment opportunities in Namibia and making a valuable contribution to the integrity and viability of ocean ecosystems”, commented Daniel Hooft, Founder of Kelp Blue.

Kelp Blue is directly aligned with the goals of the CI2 facility as it offers a viable alternative to existing water and waste management practices and current approaches to ocean system management.

It is also aligned to Eos Capital and NIDIF’s shared mission of contributing to the growth of the Namibian economy.

The business will contribute to the attainment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal Number 14: Life below water through the creation of marine ecosystems.

“We are proud to partner with Kelp Blue in its efforts to accelerate marine biodiversity resilience. As one of the early investments under the CI2 financing facility, this partnership speaks to our commitment to supporting the health and productivity of our blue planet,” commented Andrew Johnstone, CEO of Climate Fund Managers.

Nicole Maske, Managing Partner of Eos Capital, said that, “In addition to the positive impact on our ocean and our local fish stocks, this is an exciting opportunity to add to the infrastructure and growth of Lüderitz, thereby enhancing prospects for the local community, and to secure inward investment into Namibia on an environmentally responsible basis.”

Recently, EOS Capital launched its third fund, Euphrates Agriculture Fund which aims to bring about an “Agriculture Renaissance” in Namibia.

Through the fund, the investor aims to raise N$500 million (US$33.5m) by March 2021 to invest in agriculture production and value addition.

It will make equity and quasi-equity investments into unlisted vehicles in target sectors including agro-processing, distribution and logistics, commercial agriculture, retail, biomass, and manufacturing of chemicals, fertilizers, seeds, animal products and equipment.

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