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Monday, 1 July 2013

Australian plans for clean energy in Africa

Wasabi Energy, a developer of clean-power technology, plans to sell shares in a new unit in Africa as rising demand across the continent lures finance from Asia.

“There seems to be a lot of funding that is wanting to go towards Africa,” Diane Bettess, chief operating officer of the Melbourne-based company, told Bloomberg. “Chinese companies have built themselves up and got massive penetration in China and now they’re looking for growth so they’re looking outside.”

Wasabi, whose technology captures waste heat to produce electricity, has already proposed to fund its Asian division in a similar way – planning an initial public offering for the unit later this year. Now it’s turning to Africa as nations struggle to meet power demand amid burgeoning population growth.

The company expects to establish the new unit and start the fundraising once it has projects in Africa to serve as a “spring board,” Bettess said. The process will be under way within the next year, without providing details of how much it intends to raise.

Wasabi’s Kalina Cycle technology generates electricity from low-heat sources and can be used in geothermal plants, metalworks and oil refineries. In Africa, Kenya already has a geothermal industry, while the South African market is “very strong,” Bettess said