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Kiwi Bio-Diesel Developer Launches Prospectus

Published: Wed 17 Jan 2007 08:55 AM
Media Release
January 16, 2007
Kiwi Bio-Diesel Developer Launches Prospectus
Biodiesel developer, Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation, has launched its prospectus in a bid to raise $5 million for further research and development of its world-first wild algae-based fuel.
Copies of Aquaflow’s prospectus are available online at the company’s new website www.aquaflowgroup.com or from Buddle Findlay solicitors in Christchurch.
Aquaflow and the Energy Minister, David Parker, completed a successful test-drive of the alternative fuel in a Land Rover outside Parliament before Christmas.
“Since the test drive we’ve had phenomenal domestic and international response leading to commercial discussions with market-defining investors, “says Aquaflow director, Nick Gerritsen.
“We’ve had tangible interest from three top US venture capital firms and commercial discussions are underway with parties from the UK, Australia and Asia. Aquaflow is drawing top-shelf interest from a number of capital market players who were behind some of the biggest technology deals in the last two decades.
“We expect to have a pilot underway in the US and elsewhere within the next 12 months,” he adds.
Meanwhile, David Parker met with UK entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson earlier this week to discuss three New Zealand biofuel technologies, including the Aquaflow development. Sir Richard has pledged to spend NZ$4.5 billion over the next ten years on projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including biofuels research.
“It’s great to have the Minister’s support and Sir Richard’s interest. This technology is moving fast and New Zealand has a unique opportunity to become a global leader in biofuels,” says Gerritsen.
Gerritsen says the Christchurch-based company has attracted wide international media interest, and will be featured in a forthcoming article in the international Land Rover magazine, among others.
Aquaflow announced last May that it had produced the world’s first bio-diesel derived from wild micro-algae sourced from Marlborough sewage ponds.
Bio-diesel based on algae could eventually become a sustainable, low cost, cleaner burning fuel alternative for New Zealand, powering family cars, trucks, buses and boats. It can also be used for other purposes such as heating or distributed electricity generation. There is now a global demand for billions of litres of bio-diesel per year.
Algae are also readily available and produced in huge volumes in nutrient rich waste streams such as at the settling ponds of Effluent Management Systems (EMS). It is a renewable indigenous resource ideally suited to the production of fuel and other useful by-products.
The breakthrough comes after technology start-up, Aquaflow, agreed to undertake a pilot with Marlborough District Council late 2005 to extract algae from the settling ponds of its EMS based in Blenheim.
By removing the main contaminant to use as a fuel feedstock, Aquaflow is also helping clean up the council’s water discharge - a process known as bio-remediation. Dairy farmers, and many food processors too, can benefit in similar ways by applying the harvesting technology to their nutrient-rich waste streams.
Blended with conventional mineral diesel, bio-diesel can run vehicles without the need for vehicle modifications. Fuel derived from algae can also help meet the New Zealand Government B5 (5% blended) target, with the prospect of this increasing over time as bio-fuel production increases.
“Our next step is to increase capacity to produce one million litres of bio-diesel from the Marlborough sewerage ponds over the next year,” says Gerritsen.
ENDS

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