Genex goes into trading halt, ahead of fund-raising for Jemalong solar farm

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Genex will raise $16 million to fund the completion of the Jemalong Solar Farm as the company doubles the capacity of its solar portfolio.

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Shares in power generation developer Genex were placed into a trading halt today as the company announced plans to undergo a $19.2 million capital raising to fund the development of Jemalong Solar Project near Forbes in NSW.

Genex acquired the development rights to the 50MW Jemalong Solar Project from Vast Solar last year, and will use the funds to complete the construction of the project, following its completion of the Kidston solar and pumped-hydro project in Queensland.

Genex will offer $16.2 million in shares to new shareholders under the offer, with existing shareholders also given the opportunity to purchased up to $15,000 of new shares in a separate share purchase plan, that will raise an additional $3 million.

The capital rising will be combined with $12.5 million of Genex’s existing cash reserves to fully fund Genex’s equity contributions for the Jemalong project.

Vast Solar had developed an initial 1MW pilot plant for concentrated solar thermal and sodium thermal storage, as part of an ARENA supported demonstration project. The plan was to expand upon the pilot with a hybrid solar thermal and solar PV system, that would have been combined with solar thermal and battery energy storage.

The company has since sold of rights to the shovel-ready Jemalong project to focus on the development of its solar thermal technology.

The Jemalong Solar project will double Genex’s existing renewable energy portfolio alongside the completed 50MW first stage of the Kidston solar project, which commenced generation last year.

Genex expects the project to double the company’s revenues from 2020, generating an additional $13-$15 million in revenue once fully operational.

UGL has been brought on to provide EPC services to the project, the company having worked with Genex previously on the completion of stage 1 on the Kidston project and will provide EPC services to the stage 2 expansion.

Genex plans to expand upon the Kidston project, which has combined a large-scale solar development with a large-scale pumped hydro energy storage established within a former gold mine. Stage 2 of the Kidston project is currently under development, and will provide 250MW of pumped-hydro energy storage capacity, with up to 8-hours of stored energy (2,000MWh).

The pumped-hydro project will repurpose of two wells at the abandoned Kidston gold mine site, taking advantage of a height difference between the two wells to establish reservoirs with a height differential of up to 218 metres. Water will be pumped between the wells, allowing for dispatchable energy stored from the Kidston solar farm.

genex corporate portfolio

Genex has previously secured a $516 million loan from the federal government, provided through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) for the second stage of the Kidston project.

The loan for the pumped-hydro project from the NAIF came as somewhat of a surprise, following immense scrutiny of the fund, and speculation that it would be used by the coalition government to underwrite a new coal generator in Queensland, or even the Adani coal mine.

It’s been a busy month of raising funds for Genex, with the company announcing earlier in June that it had sold a $25 million stake in the company to Japanese firm J-Power, the proceeds being put towards the completion of stage 2 of the Kidston pumped-hydro storage project.

A planned stage 3 of the Kidston project will see the addition of 150MW of wind generation co-located at the solar and pump-hydro site. The stage 3 project is currently undergoing a feasibility assessment.

Genex will offer up to 67.4 million new shares in the company, at an offer price of 24 cents per share. Shares in Genex closed at 27 cents per share prior to the announcement of the trading halt.

First generation from the Jemalong solar farm is expected in 2020, and will be sold into the National Electricity Market as a merchant/spot market generator.

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