Clean-tech firm attracts investment

Last updated 05:00 29/05/2012

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Marlborough clean-tech company Carbonscape has secured a "six-figure" investment from Clearworld Energy, based in Beijing.

Carbonscape director Nick Gerritsen said that the company had two new directors on its board following that investment, Clearworld's Mike Ashburn and San Francisco-based investor Benjamin Chen.

Ashburn moved from Beijing to Christchurch in February last year. He, Chen, and Clearworld official Alex Westlake attended their first Carbonscape board meeting last week.

Carbonscape uses microwaves to turn waste from forestry into high value carbon products. Clearworld Energy invests in green and clean-technology companies.

Ashburn said Carbonscape's technology was "game-changing" and would have global market potential. He said he and Westlake were pleased to be on board in what was Clearworld Energy's first New Zealand investment.

"New Zealand is a particularly productive place for ideas. I did expect to find some interesting things when I came here."

During the new board's meeting in Picton, it mapped out areas to focus on during the next five years.

Gerritsen said the company would be pushing to make its first revenue.

"The important point is that we are doing it from Marlborough. Marlborough is not yet recognised as a hotbed for world-changing technology, but it might be."

Ashburn said it was a big step for companies to go from invention to commercialisation.

"We have spent the past few days looking at how we can do that for Carbonscape within the resources we have now."

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