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Marina Vishnevskaya

Marina is a chartered accountant with ten years of financial reporting experience and a focus on renewable energy. Prior to joining Armstrong she was a financial controller at Partnerships for Renewables, where she managed the finance function for a portfolio of operating onshore wind farms and sites in development and supported a number of successful commercial transactions.

Marina started her career at Deloitte where she progressed to audit senior manager delivering audits and other financial assurance projects for listed and private companies in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, real estate and more recently renewable energy. At Deloitte she gained strong technical knowledge in such complex areas as construction accounting and property valuations under both UK GAAP and IFRS as well as significant experience in assessing design and implementation of financial controls.

Marina holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Masters of Public Accounting from University of Wisconsin and an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College.

Armstrong Energy teams up with New Light Africa to provide access to energy to rural communities in Kenya

Armstrong Energy has been appointed by New Light Africa Limited (New Light Africa or the Company) to raise up to USD 2 million in Series B capital.  Armstrong is looking to make an initial close of the round by 31 August 2016.

New Light Africa is a UK company that was established by the management team that first proved the enormous demand for solar lanterns in East Africa.  Between 2011 and 2015, Steve Andrews (Founder and CEO) and Linda Wamune (MD, Kenya) worked together at SunnyMoney and sold 1.3 million solar lanterns in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, making SunnyMoney the leading distributor of solar lanterns in a region where two thirds of households still do not have access to electricity.

At SunnyMoney, Steve and Linda demonstrated the enormous demand in East Africa for products that transformed the daily lives of people if the products could be sold at the right price and in a way that customers could afford.  At New Light Africa they want to take this a step further and provide not just access to electricity for the first time, but also other products designed to improve the lives of people living in remote rural areas.  The Company is initially focused on selling solar lanterns, cookstoves, mobile phones, and water tanks.

Steve Andrews, the Managing Director of New Light Africa, said “We are delighted to be working with Armstrong Energy to grow our business, and are excited about the opportunity that this gives us to focus on meeting our targets.  Over the last several weeks we have worked closely with the Armstrong team, and have already begun to see the benefit of working with them, whether it be in refining our strategy, or in our procurement policies.  Together, I believe that we can deliver our business plan. If we do so, we will sell more than five and a half million solar lanterns over the next five years, hopefully improving the lives of each and every family that buys one.”

Andrew Newman, a director of Armstrong Energy, said, “We are delighted to be working with the New Light Africa team.  When we established the Armstrong Energy Global Foundation in 2013, we set ourselves the objective of trying to provide access to electricity to one million people.  The New Light Africa team has already demonstrated that this can be achieved.  But what we particularly like about New Light Africa is that their business model does not rely on charity or soft money.  This will hopefully make it sustainable in the long-term. If businesses like New Light Africa can demonstrate that people can make money whilst providing life changing products to people in Africa, then where they lead others will hopefully follow, resulting in the lives of some of the poorest people on the planet being improved.”

Further information on New Light Africa can be found by watching this short video:

Natems Sugar Holdings (UK) Limited launches Sustainable Agriculture Bond and appoints Social Finance to raise capital

Natems Sugar Holdings (UK) Limited has today launched its Sustainable Agriculture Bond to raise £5 million.  The funds will be used to enable NSH to complete its acquisition of a sugar factory in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

NSH has appointed Social Finance Limited as placement agent to raise funds for the Sustainable Agriculture Bond.

NSH is committed to improving the lives of the communities in which it works in a way that is sustainable for the long-term.  Under the terms of the Sustainable Agriculture Bond, NSH is committing to improving the yield of the farmers growing sugar for the factory by an average of 50% over the five year term of bond, thereby dramatically increasing the incomes of these farmers.  This will be achieved through a combination of investment in new equipment (solar water pumps, drip irrigation, and mini tractors) and helping the farmers adopt new, more efficient farming techniques.

The innovation in the Sustainable Agriculture Bond is that Natems Sugar Holdings (UK) Limited is committing to deliver this social impact by benchmarking the yield of the factory farmers over the next five years against the yield achieved by farmers over the last five years.  In the event that NSH fails to increase the yield by 50% over this period, then NSH will pay penalty interest on the Sustainable Agriculture Bond.

In this way, the Sustainable Agriculture Bond gives investors an attractive financial return together with a commitment to deliver a significant social impact.  After five years, investors will have received this attractive financial return and delivered a meaningful social impact in some of the world’s poorest communities, or will have received a high financial return if the social impact is not delivered.  This incentivises NSH to deliver the maximum social impact that is possible over the five year period of the Sustainable Agriculture Bond.

Tourian Renewables Limited has signed a testing agreement with the technology provider Licella

Tourian Renewables Limited has signed a testing agreement with the technology provider Licella. Initial testing procedures have commenced at Licella’s offices in NSW, Australia on sample waste materials supplied from the UK.  The samples have been sourced from a UK based packaging company that produces large quantities of mixed waste plastics and cellulose currently disposed to landfill.

Licella has run mixtures of plastics and cellulose to simulate the typical UK waste stream and has already shown that it can produce a high quality fuel oil. The next step is to run more thorough trials to establish the optimum processing conditions and to undertake a laboratory categorisation of the fuels produced.  We look forward to concluding this design optimisation stage over the next two months which will lead to a detailed specification of the first UK installation in 2017.

Armstrong successfully raises funds and diversifies its portfolio of assets under management

Armstrong Energy (Armstrong or the Company) is pleased to announce that it has supported a number of early stage companies in the UK in successfully raising over £37 million in March 2016 from private client investors.  These funds build on the strong presence the Company has in energy projects in the UK and India, whilst also broadening the activities of the companies to which it provides advisory and investment management services.

Armstrong has helped to raise funds for a companies with a wide range of businesses, including:

Salamanca Energy Limited, which is looking to build a portfolio of smaller solar farms in Chile;

Gelion UK Limited, an energy storage company commercialising a patented technology from the University of Sydney, Australia; and

Tourian Renewables Limited, a new waste to chemicals business.

Alan Yazdabadi, a director of Armstrong, said, “We continue to believe that by delivering excellent returns, capital will flow into companies such as these, and thereby help to reduce carbon emissions and create jobs.  As such, it is a win-win for investors, the UK economy, and the environment. We have worked hard to help these companies get to a level of maturity where they are investment ready, and we look forward to helping them grow in the years to come.”

Armstrong Energy Global announces sale of Indian development portfolio to Ahana Renewables

Armstrong Energy Global has today completed the sale of its development team and development pipeline to Ahana Renewables, a subsidiary of ATN (NASDAQ: ATNI), Ahana intends to oversee the development, construction and operation of this development pipeline through a newly-established company, Vibrant Energy Holdings (Vibrant Energy), that will be a majority-owned Ahana subsidiary.

Dr. Ramnath Nandakumar, Managing Director of Armstrong Energy Global said, “Our large development pipeline of solar projects in India and dedicated local team combined with Ahana’s experience and financial resources will enable us to meet our goal of delivering hundreds of megawatts of clean, reliable electricity to customers in a country where supply can still be unreliable.  We believe India is today the most exciting country in the world for solar power, and we don’t think we could have found a better partner than Ahana to meet this market opportunity.”

“Ahana Renewables is building upon the foundation of high quality commercial solar projects that is has developed in the U.S. to enter India to expand both our geographic footprint and customer base”, said Managing Director Marvin Tien.

Vibrant Energy has an initial pipeline of approximately 50 MW photovoltaic solar facilities ready for construction in the next six to nine months, and is targeting a total of 250-350 MW in solar energy projects in India through 2018. Customers for the initial projects are private commercial and industrial enterprises and Vibrant Energy will continue to target this customer segment as it builds new solar facilities, currently focused on the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana.  The Company expects to fund the acquisition, operating costs and the development and construction of this pipeline with an initial capital investment of approximately $50 million to $100 million, complemented by debt and other funding under discussion with numerous institutions.

This investment marks Ahana’s entry into India’s growing renewable energy market, which seeks to address the high demand for energy created by the country’s fast growing economy and deficits in traditional energy sources. “We believe this is an attractive location for long-term solar investment”, said Managing Director Jason Tai. “In addition to India’s favourable climate conditions and unmet energy needs, solar energy development cost in many regions of India has reached grid parity, providing an opportunity for attractive investment returns without reliance on direct government subsidy. We believe the economic argument in favour of solar will only improve in the future as equipment costs continue to fall.  This new partnership will allow us to deliver clean power to the growing commercial sector, strengthening the regional economy, and generating permanent local job opportunities.”

Richard Sloper

Richard is a Chartered Accountant with 16 years qualified experience predominantly with KPMG where he worked with a variety of high growth mid cap organisations, notably across the energy sector here in the UK, Europe, Africa , Australia and South America supporting his clients across both traditional statutory responsibilities as well as transactional support including listings in the UK and Norway.

Since leaving KPMG Richard built a consulting and support business providing surge support across a portfolio of clients focussing on transactional work including trade sales, IPOs, management buy outs and valuations, along side leading change management initiatives including process implementation and system change.

Michael Mackin

Michael joined the Armstrong Energy asset management team in November 2015. Prior to this he worked in the legal sector for eight and a half years where he gained experience in a fast-paced environment with exposure to international business and taxation. Michael is a part-qualified accountant with the Association of Accounting Technicians and is currently studying to attain the full qualification. Michael is looking forward to furthering his knowledge of the energy sector, specifically renewables.