The group said the loan – made by Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), the US government's development finance institution – would be used for the first phase of development and commercialisation of a 36.4billion standard cubic feet (bcf) natural gas and 0.87bcf helium field in the Free State province.
“The project also includes the construction and operation of a 52km gas gathering pipeline system and a new liquefied natural gas(LNG) and helium liquefaction plant,” the group said.
Renergen chief executive Stefano Marani said Opic’s funding support was a significant recognition of the importance of alternative and cleaner energy sources in the world.
Marani said Opic also decided to fund the expansion of the project as it believed that it could have a highly developmental impact.
“We are proud to be playing an important role in advancing the development of alternative energy sources in the country while contributing to its economic development,” Marani said.
“Through Opic’s funding we are well positioned to take the Tetra4 project to the next level and start realising the growth potential of this world-class deposit for the benefit of stakeholders."
Tetra4 said the loan would be payable in 12 years with a 30-month grace period. It said the development of this infrastructure was aligned to the South African government's gas utilisation master plan, which aims to increase natural gas usage and reduce the country's reliance on coal and diesel imports.
Tetra4 announced that it had secured an agreement with Black Knight Group for the sale of LNG. The group said that the transaction would fuel approximately 100 trucks, significantly reducing carbon emissions and operator costs and improving vehicle maintenance.
Marani said Tetra4 was proud to be associated with Black Knight as it embarked on its new venture to disrupt the local logistics market using cutting-edge technology and international best practice.
Black Knight has 20 years experience in the fuel industry and has been distributing fuel products across South Africa and the wider SADC region. In recent years, Black Knight Group has developed a logistics division aimed at providing holistic fuel solutions for clients.