As a complex business with ambitious expansion plans, Altus Renewables turned to Export Finance Australia for support.
Altus Renewables produces and markets biomass-based fuels. It converts wood-based waste into densified wood pellets and absorbents for domestic and industrial use. Around 95 per cent of its operations are export-based.
In June 2020, Altus Renewables commenced a long-term agreement with a large company in Japan. Over a 10-year period, 110,000 metric tonnes per year of wood pellets will be exported from its production facility in Queensland into the Japanese market. Once shipped, the pellets are used as fuel by power stations to help the country meet its emission reduction targets.
The financial assistance from Export Finance Australia was significant in more ways than one. It will allow Altus Renewables to complete the upgrading of its facility for greater capacity and enable it to complete the construction of a dedicated storage and export facility at the Port of Bundaberg.
“We already had a relationship with Export Finance Australia, and we had kept them informed of our progress. But locking in the long-term offtake agreement was an important step for us as it enabled us to progress a funding application with Export Finance Australia,” said Denis Waddell, Chairman of Altus Renewables.
Historically, the company has found it hard to find funding sources. “Our major challenge has been that we effectively started a new export industry in Australia,” explained Denis. “Raising funds has proven difficult because people don't understand what we do; they don’t understand the application of pellets as a renewable energy.”