HomeBusiness DigestWest Group to pursue investment in infinite energy

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Methane gas is generated by rotting rubbish in landfill dumps. It is usually extracted by sinking pipes or wells into the landfill and drawing out the gas,  generating energy in the process.

Globally it is being promoted as one of the sources of renewable energy.

Sharpe said after six months of negotiations with the city council, progress had been made to harness the methane gas generated by rotting rubbish at the landfills.

A feasibility study will be done soon after the council approval to determine the amount of gas that is available. Sharpe however said that such a project would be under UN registration and regulation.

Once all the approvals have been obtained, the group intends to start on the project before the end of 2012. 

Sharpe said an investor had already committed to the project, which was expected to produce between one to  10 megawatts of electricity.

The Medium Term Plan and most economic researches have highlighted energy as a pillar of economic development and growth.

Sharpe said he was looking at 16 projects for 2012. Of the 16, he said five would be operational by year end. 

“The projects range in size and values. The other objective apart from making a profit is to encourage other investors about opportunities available in the country.” The infinite energy project is one of the five, but Sharpe said he was not in a position to divulge the rest.

He said the Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development had rezoned the area just after Dandaro Village and adjacent to Borrowdale West in Harare from open land to commercial zone. This would enable the West Group to carry out is mega property development project, The Mall of Zimbabwe. “However on the issues raised that the area is a wetland, we are currently in consultations with the Environmental Management Authority”.

Sharpe said the initial response for the 45 000 square metres they had availed was overwhelming, with a 140% uptake. He said that normally initial responses should be between 60-80%.

West Star, a retail chain, will list on the ZSE by way of introduction before the initial public offering (IPO) within the next 14 months, Sharpe said.

He said the group’s authorised issued share capital would be 500 million but the group’s stake should be diluted to around 45% upon listing. 

A small percentage of the shares (20 million shares) would be taken up by West Star’s customers who use the Gold Card. The target price at listing is 10c, he said.

The group was supposed to take transfer of 100% of Red Star Holdings shares in October last year but due to the challenges in transferring the debt out of the company, the deadline was shifted to December. Again Starafrica failed to meet it.

The group has appointed Ernst & Young as auditors, Grant Thornton as accountants, New Africa as sponsoring brokers, Atherstone & Cook as legal advisors. He said they were still to finalise on the financial advisors. — Staff Writer.

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