Renergen CEO Stefano Marani. Picture: SUPPLIED
Renergen CEO Stefano Marani. Picture: SUPPLIED

JSE-listed liquefied natural gas and helium company Renergen says a US government agency has granted it a $40m (R612m) loan to get its gas project in the Free State off the ground.

With the 12-year loan secured from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), Renergen said on Wednesday it would now focus on construction of the facilities and on finalising drilling targets for its Virginia gas project.

“Opic is pleased to partner with Renergen and provide financing to support private sector-led economic development in SA, expand trade and commercial ties between the US and Africa, and ultimately increase the global supply of helium,” said Opic vice-president for structured finance, Tracey Webb.

Renergen CEO Stefano Marani said the agreement gave the company access to “an efficient source of capital to progress the Virginia gas project towards production”.

“It is also a huge endorsement by the US government through the Opic of both the project and the significant importance of securing helium supply,” Marani said.

Renergen recently appointed EPCM subsidiary EPCM Bonisana as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor to start construction of the project.

“The collective completion of these agreements provides a greater degree of certainty on the commencement of revenue from the project, which is now anticipated in the first half of 2021,” the company said.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za