NAMIBIA might become the site of the world’s largest kelp farm after investors indicated that they are willing to invest about a billion dollars in the project.
According to Kelp Blue, the investor behind the proposed project, the kelp farm will be situated between three and ten kilometres off the Namibian coast near Lüderitz in southern Namibia.
The project would be a joint venture between Kelp Blue, Climate Investor Two (CI2), and the Namibia Infrastructure Development and Investment Fund (NIDIF). The funding will cover the initial five-year phase and will come from both international and local Namibian sources through CI2 and NIDIF, pending investment approvals.
Kelp Blue has already started the process of obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals from the Namibian Government and aims to liaise closely with local authorities that might be involved.
Kelp is fast-growing seaweed and has the ability to sequester more carbon dioxide (CO2) than terrestrial forests, while boosting marine biodiversity and improving fish stocks, and generating additional ecological benefits, including counteracting ocean acidification and de-oxygenation.
The farmed seaweed will be harvested to produce alternative agricultural feed, bio-stimulant fertilisers, and textile products.
The proposed project’s business model aims to add value across the entire kelp value-chain. The company aims to introduce innovations in offshore engineering and novel processing technologies that will reduce overhead costs while increasing scalable process efficiencies. Economic development will be promoted through the creation of value-added products in Namibia for local consumption and also for the export market.
In a statement, Kelp Blue said it will also create employment opportunities in coastal communities and contribute to economic growth in far off areas.