Fluence Corporation’s (ASX: FLC) proposed water treatment plant project on Africa’s Ivory Coast has received financial closure of €165 million (A$268 million), paving the way for plant construction to get underway.
Financial close comes almost 12 months after Fluence secured the contract with the Ivory Coast Government to supply and install a 150,000 cubic metre per day surface water treatment plant near the region’s largest city Abidjan.
As part of the deal, Fluence worked on behalf of the Ivory Coast Ministry of Finance to secure the loan from the Israeli Discount Bank, which was supported with export credit insurance from the Israeli Export Credit Agency ASHRA.
Funding completion was anticipated by the end of the September quarter last year, but was delayed to the current quarter.
Fluence noted the delay in signing off the financing may result in a short-term deferral in the revenue it had anticipated in 2019.
However, the company claims there is a possibility the revenue may still be recognised and enable Fluence to post an earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation positive December quarter.
Additionally, Fluence will immediately receive €18 million (A$29.25 million) for work it has already completed.
Fluence managing director and chief executive officer Henry Charrabe said the completion of financing for the project was an “immensely important milestone” for the company.
“The continued focus and cooperation with the teams from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Hydraulique in Ivory Coast, as well as ASHRA and Israeli Discount Bank have allowed us to meet this objective,” he added.
Ivory Coast wastewater treatment plant
Fluence will now begin construction of the plant which is scheduled to be finished in 24 months.
The plant will include Fluence’s proven technologies and knowledge including its separation and membrane systems, advanced oxidation, biological filtration and sludge treatment capabilities.
According to Fluence, Abidjan’s expanding population of 4.7 million needs reliable and potable water “urgently”.
The plant will treat water from the city’s largest freshwater reserve Lagune Aghien, which is known to be dense with algae and other contaminants.
By early afternoon, Fluence’s shares had lifted 1% to trade at $0.45.