Investment of approximately US$60mn will be required over a five-year period. This will be funded by both international and local Namibian sources through CI2 and NIDIF, pending investment approvals. Kelp Blue will seek the necessary Namibian regulatory approvals and will liaise closely with local authorities.
Kelp Blue will cultivate giant kelp in nutrient-rich waters 3-10km off the coast of Namibia, near Lüderitz. The seaweed canopy will be sustainably harvested to produce alternative agri-food, bio-stimulant and textile products.
Kelp is a fast-growing seaweed and has the ability to sequester more CO2 than terrestrial forests while boosting marine biodiversity and improving fish stocks and generating additional ecological benefits, including counteracting ocean acidification and de-oxygenation.
Kelp Blue’s business model will add value across the entire kelp value-chain. The introduction of offshore engineering innovations and novel processing technologies will reduce overheads and increase scalable process efficiencies. Economic development will be promoted through the creation of value-added products in Namibia for local consumption and export.
Kelp Blue will also create employment opportunities in coastal communities and contribute to economic growth in outlying areas. Kelp Blue is directly aligned with the goals of the CI2 facility as it offers a viable alternative to existing water and waste management practices and current approaches to ocean system management. It is also aligned to Eos Capital and NIDIF’s shared mission of contributing to the growth of the Namibian economy. The business will contribute to the attainment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal Number 14: Life below water through the creation of marine ecosystems.
Nicole Maske, the managing partner of Eos Capital, said, “In addition to the positive impact on our ocean and our local fish stocks, this is an exciting opportunity to add to the infrastructure and growth of Lüderitz, thereby enhancing prospects for the local community, and to secure inward investment into Namibia on an environmentally responsible basis.”