Johannesburg - Alternative and renewable energy company Renergen’s losses widened to R9.86 million for the six months to end August from a R4.75m loss the previous corresponding period as capital expenditure of R11.4m relating to the construction of a compression facility weighed on the results.

Renergen last year acquired a 90 percent interest in Tetra4 Proprietary in a deal valued at R650m after it entered into an agreement with Afrox to process and market helium from a Free State helium and natural gas field. Renergen said production started on May 24. The gas field has reserves of 31 billion cubic feet.

According to Renergen, the 187 000 hectare helium and natural gas field in Virginia “is the first and only onshore petroleum (and natural gas) right in South Africa capable of supplying helium to numerous specialised and industrial markets”.

Renergen group started generating revenue from July, through its subsidiary’s sale of compressed natural gas.

“Our reserves are up 24 percent, losses per share are down by 95 percent as a result of our first revenue coming online and operations are running smoothly,” the company said.

The group reported a smaller headline loss a share of 12.73c compared with a loss of 283.06c a share in the corresponding prior period.

Growth prospects

Renergen believed that sub-Saharan Africa enjoyed encouraging growth prospects. It said infrastructure spend in the region was expected to grow about 10 percent a year in the next decade with an anticipated spend of $180 billion (R3 trillion) a year by 2025.

“Sub-Saharan Africa presents important and valuable opportunities to develop alternative and renewable energy resources to support the strategic infrastructure and basic services necessary to facilitate the habitation, extraction and economic growth patterns of the region,” it said.

The company’s share price slipped 0.07 percent to close at R13.99 on the JSE yesterday.