N$1b kelp farm gets environmental green light

By Hilary Mare

KELP Blue has received their Environmental Clearance Certificate from the Ministry of the Environment and Tourism – a significant milestone in the development of the company’s pilot operation in Lüderitz.
The company last week said this was a vital step in Kelp Blue’s continuing journey towards creating a sustainable new ocean industry adding that by working closely with the authorities, Kelp Blue can help the country fulfil its commitment made to the International High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.
Recently, Confidente reported that Climate Fund Managers (CFM) and Eos Capital announced a partnership between Climate Investor Two (managed by Climate Fund Managers), Kelp Blue and the Namibia Infrastructure Development and Investment Fund (NIDIF), managed by Eos Capital, for the commercial development of the world’s first large-scale kelp farm with an investment of close to N$1 billion.
The investment will be required over a five-year period, the companies have announced.
This will be funded by both international and local sources through CI2 and NIDIF, pending investment approvals.
Kelp is fast-growing seaweed which is highly effective at sequestering CO2. It generates positive ecological benefits to surrounding ecosystems in the form of water filtration, nitrogen removal and habitat provision, which in turn boosts marine biodiversity and improves fish stocks. Kelp also plays a role in counteracting the acidification and de-oxygenation of the ocean.
Kelp Blue’s Namibian operations will contribute to the attainment of the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goal Number 14: Life below water through the creation of marine ecosystems.
“This is an important step, and we are thrilled to have received the recognition that this certificate of environmental clearance represents. It paves the way for Namibia’s emergence as a leading blue economy innovator, and delivers ecological benefits,” commented Viviane Kinyaga, managing director of Kelp Blue Namibia.
Nicole Maske, managing partner of Eos Capital, added that “We are excited by this project’s contribution to the growth of the Namibian economy, and we are grateful to the Namibian government for their support in bringing it to fruition.”
Andrew Johnstone, CEO of Climate Fund Managers also commented: “As an impact investor focused on mobilising private and public sector capital to respond to the global climate crisis, Climate Fund Managers actively seeks enterprises like Kelp Blue with sustainable climate change mitigation credentials. It is gratifying to see that our faith in this wave-making project is shared by the government of Namibia, as evidenced by the awarding of this Environmental Clearance Certificate.”
Climate Fund Managers (CFM) is a new-generation fund management firm dedicated to securing a sustainable future through investing in positive climate outcomes across global emerging markets. CFM is a cooperative incorporated under the laws of The Netherlands, established as a joint venture between FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, and Sanlam InfraWorks, part of Sanlam Group of South Africa.
Eos Capital is an established Namibian private equity fund manager, founded in 2015 and 100 percent Namibian-owned. Eos Capital’s mission is to contribute to the growth of the Namibian economy, building on its strong local network and ability to add value to investments. Eos and its Funds are registered and regulated under Namibian law.