DomaCom crowdfunding with an energy theme


Arthur Naoumidis

Fractional investment fund manager, DomaCom, is moving into the energy sector with a plan to crowdfund the purchase of land and development of a $4.3 million bioHub in the northern NSW town of Casino.

The exciting “new-age” energy project aims to raise $4.3 million for the land and the development costs, after which the Brisbane-based specialist bioHub developer, Utilitas, will enter into a 10-year lease to operate the bioHub.

The rental income generated is expected to give investors an annual eight per cent yield.

DomaCom CEO Arthur Naoumidis says this is an exciting opportunity via our Fund that merges a socially responsible energy investment in rural Australia with a projected healthy yield for investors.

“For a minimum investment of $2,500, investors can participate in the development of a bioHub project that will service the energy needs of the local sewage wastewater treatment plant, industries and communities in and around Casino, one of Australia’s major beef centres”.

“Every year Australia produces enough sewage, agricultural and processing residuals to power more than one million homes. Utilitas has a target of 100 bioHubs in 100 regional centres by 2025, and we are excited to be part of this energy project of the future.”

Utilitas Chairman Hon Bernie Ripoll says “Utilitas exists to add value to regional communities so we are excited that the DomaCom financing model allows people to invest in their own community”.

The Federal Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation estimates the potential investment in this energy sector is between $3.5 billion and $5 billion by 2020, yet now it only provides 0.9 per cent of Australia’s electricity output compared with 2.4 per cent by OECD countries. Germany alone has more than 10,000 plants.

Utilitas founding shareholder and Chief Executive Officer Fiona Waterhouse says the bioHub developer sees the DomaCom “partnership” as an integral part of the capital raising needed to unlock the development of this kind of useful infrastructure across rural Australia.

“At a time of rising energy costs across Australia, Utilitas is offering an environmentally sound service to rural Australia where our bioHubs use well proven, safe and reliable technology to convert organic waste and waste water into electricity, gas and fuel, create local fertiliser and other useful bioproducts”.

“These plans can safely and reliably capture and utilise energy and nutrient from this waste that typically would have to be disposed at an economic and environmental cost.”
Waterhouse says demand for our bioHubs is being driven by three key factors – growing demand for food, increasing energy costs, and supply risks.

“Casino is an excellent example of how this energy technology can work to benefit a rural community. This northern NSW town of about 12,000 people is the regional hub of a large cattle industry, and, as a consequence, the sheer size of biomass from abattoirs and farms in this fertile beef region makes it an ideal location for a bioHub.”

Utilitas, which uses “European-style” tanks to digest the organic waste and convert it into electricity, provides the engineering input to develop, build and operate each bioHub.

They have one plant operational under private ownership in Queensland treating animal waste, which generates sufficient energy to power 235 homes. They have designed more than 5MWe (5,875 homes equivalent) of private projects including in New South Wales treating abattoir waste.

Utilitas Group have mapped, scoped and assessed more than 200 opportunities and have now developed 3 bioHub projects in regional communities in Australia that are nearing financial close.

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