Kelp Blue to list blue bond on NSX


Kelp Blue, a company specialising in the cultivation of giant kelp with operations based in Luderitz, has forwarded the programme memorandum to the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) and is currently awaiting feedback.

Anouk Bosman, head of marketing and communication told Observer Money this week that upon receipt, the company will proceed to submit a formal filing for listing.

Kelp Blue aims to launch a blue bond programme towards the end of 2024, with the goal of raising US$20 million annually for four years. This funding will be utilised for the planting of up to 1000 hectares of kelp forests offshore Luderitz.

“The programme will undergo registration with the NSX for the complete US$80 million tranche,” said Bosman.

Bosman said Kelp Blue has already planted over 27 hectares within its licensed area and is currently busy with the scale-up phase, the next step toward achieving 1000 hectares by 2030.

Talking about future plans, the official said by 2027, Kelp Blue expects to employ over 400 people in Namibia utilising the latest technologies such as an automated harvester supplying product to its commercial scale factory.

Bosman said the Kelp Blue has invested over N$$160 million in Namibia since operations began in February 2022.

“The majority of this was spent locally. Kelp Blue expects to draw over N$$2 billion of foreign direct investment into Namibia in the coming five years. It expects to generate over N$6 billion in balance of payments contribution, and possibly up to N$2 billion in annual treasury contribution, by 2030.”

Bosman disclosed that Kelp Blue aims to sequester 30 000 tons of carbon annually by 2025, and over one million tons by 2050, in Namibia.

“Kelp Blue’s kelp forests in Shearwater Bay have increased resident marine species from 135 species, to just under 800. Many commercially important species such as mullet, hake, and crayfish, now lay their eggs in the kelp forest, which increases the juvenile survival rate by perhaps 100 times.”

Bosman said the company not only do we help boost marine biodiversity, but its seaweed product StimBlue+, a liquid extract helps farmers on land increase their crop yield and restore soil health.

“Our product works particularly well in areas where there is drought stress. We’re helping the ocean and helping the land,” he said.

Apart from Namibia, the company has applied for a 120-acre license to operate a giant kelp farm in Sea Otter Sound, on the Prince of Wales Island, in Alaska, USA.

In New Zealand, the cold, nutrient rich waters of the South Island have long provided the perfect growing conditions for Macrocystis Pyrifera, also known as giant kelp or bladder kelp. Currently the company cultivate locally sourced Macrocystis Pyrifera in its onshore hatchery to out plant back to marine farms.

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