Crowdfunding plan for green coke scheme

Last updated 10:36 24/10/2014
CarbonScape executive director Tim Langley, left, with microwave engineer Greg Connor at their Riverlands laboratory, near Blenheim.

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Prospects of success look good as Marlborough's CarbonScape is the third Kiwi company to list on Snowball Effect, hoping to raise money to supply clean coking coal to New Zealand Steel. Cathie Bell reports.

Marlborough clean-tech company CarbonScape has listed on crowd-funding website Snowball Effect to raise $400,000 to start the supply of "green coke" to New Zealand Steel.

CarbonScape is the third company in New Zealand to list on Snowball Effect, after Marlborough brewer Renaissance and Kiwi filmmaker Lee Tamihori.

CarbonScape is seeking a target of $400,000, and has a cap of $1.5 million.

The listing will run for 45 days from yesterday or until it reaches its cap.

CarbonScape executive director Tim Langley said yesterday CarbonScape wanted to build a pilot plant and start the supply of "green coke" to New Zealand Steel.

It already had an agreement to supply its clean coking coal to the New Zealand Steel mill at Glenbrook, Auckland, and Langley said that aspect of its technology alone had the potential to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 3 per cent if implemented worldwide.

CarbonScape's patented technology could also be used to make other clean-tech products, from activated carbon used for purifying food, air and water, to chemicals and synthetic gas, he said.

CarbonScape uses microwave technology to turn the carbon in waste wood, such as that from the forestry industry, into carbon products in just minutes.

That technology has been refined and developed in CarbonScape's Marlborough laboratory to the point where the company can make high-quality coking coal, the type essential to the steel-making process, in minutes.

Langley said the alignment with New Zealand Steel was ideal because it provided potential access to a huge global market through a single customer.

CarbonScape's capital-raising is the third project for Snowball Effect, following on the heels of Renaissance Brewing, which sought $600,000 and reached its cap of $700,000, and director Lee Tamahori's new film The Patriarch, which sought $300,000 and raised $500,000.

Snowball Effect's head of company pipeline and services Shaun Edlin said CarbonScape was an ideal third project.

"We're really excited to provide an offer from the clean-tech industry, as it's a growth industry that is popular with investors worldwide, due to the significant potential upsides and collateral environmental benefits."

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Snowball Effect is a new crowd-funding website made possible by changes in securities law this year. It was one of the first two to be licensed by the Financial Markets Authority, allowing it to help companies raise up to $2m in a year.

- Marlborough

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