Genex raises funding to fast-track Queensland battery project


Genex Power is moving on its recently flagged plan to build a big battery in central Queensland, after announcing a $21.27 million share placement that will be mainly used towards fast-tracking the 50 MW/75 MWh Como Battery project. Given the strong uptake under the placement, the company will undertake another $7 million share purchase plan through a share purchase plan later this month.

Following a trading halt in anticipation of the new capital raise, Genex announced on Monday the successful placement of 96.7 million shares at a price of $0.22 per share to existing and new sophisticated and institutional shareholders. The additional share placement, scheduled to open on August 18, will give an opportunity to all current shareholders to purchase new shares at a discount of 17% on the value of Genex shares prior to entering the trading halt last week.

The share placement comes just a week after Genex secured a $25 million share purchase commitment from Japanese utility J-Power, which will be used towards the 250 MW Kidston Pumped Hydro project. Under the new agreement, J-Power will invest in the project as long as Genex shareholders sign off on the move, along with the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board. The deal will give the Japanese company a stake of between 15% and 19.99% in Genex.

The big battery plans were unveiled last week along with the news about J-Power’s equity commitment. Genex said the Como big battery would diversify its portfolio and allow it to enter the market for energy arbitrage and FCAS services by the end of 2021. Only a week later, the developer confirmed the total of $28.27 million raised via the placement will be used towards the Como Battery project, Kidston Pumped Hydro financial close costs, working capital, and costs associated with capital raising.

“Genex is delighted with the strong response to the placement and would like to acknowledge the support shown by existing and new investors to the company’s strategy of growing cash flows from its expanding portfolio of diverse renewable energy and energy storage projects across Queensland and New South Wales,” Genex CEO James Harding said.

We are particularly excited about the development potential of the Como Battery project in Queensland, with the funds raised from the placement and share purchase plan to be used to fast track the delivery of this strategy to potentially see it contribute to our revenues during the next calendar year.”

In the meantime, the developer continues to pursue its previously announced financing strategy for the Kidston Pumped Hydro project – “with the equity requirement for this project to be funded via the proceeds of the share subscription agreement with J-Power and existing cash reserves together with a direct project equity investment through a project equity partner”.

Genex, which is operating Kidston’s 50 MW Solar Stage 1 project since 2017 and is currently developing the 50 MW Jemalong Solar Project near Forbes in New South Wales, said it expected to complete financial close on the Kidston facility, Australia’s first large-scale project to use pumped hydro to store power generated by solar PV, on its targeted schedule in September.

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