Emerging Asia-focused fund manager InfraCo Asia is backing the development of a biomass supply chain in Sri Lanka.
The $2.44 million investment in Biomass Ventures is expected to help deliver a “first-of-a-kind, agri-energy” infrastructure project producing biomass pellets from Gliricidia trees, InfraCo Asia said.
It will also provide clean energy for export and domestic use and a new stream of income for local smallholder farmers, the Singapore-based firm added.
Under a partnership with agri-energy company Biomass Group, the investment will back a new IT platform to track raw material production, as well as support logistics infrastructure. The initial production target is 150,000 tonnes of pellets from Gliricidia trees a year.
The Bio-Energy Association of Sri Lanka estimated that 54 million tonnes of biomass can be produced in Sri Lanka annually, generating up to 4,000MW of electricity from sustainably grown biomass.
“Biomass Group adeptly balances development impact and the need for commercial viability while providing smallholder farmers with a new income stream. The result is a product that has the potential to help millions of people have better access to increased income and clean energy,” said Allard Nooy, chief executive of InfraCo Asia.
InfraCo Asia is a commercially managed infrastructure development arm of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, supported by the governments of the UK, Australia and Switzerland. In September, the firm exited investments in two utility-scale wind farms in Pakistan with a combined capacity of 100MW.