AgGrow Group

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Our Team

Lawrence Kirton

B. Sc Hort. (Honours), Managing Director

Lawrence Kirton has been in the business of plant nutrition, physiology, irrigation and intensive horticulture since he graduated in 1984, with an Honours degree in Horticultural Science with majors in Soil Science, Plant Physiology and Production.   During his career he has owned and operated a successful horticultural consultancy and supply company and introduced innovative techniques to minimize environmental impact and maximize efficiency of plant nutrition and the delivery of irrigation water to intensive crops. During the past 17 years in Australia, he has worked in the intensive irrigation and horticultural sectors, in applied biomass to energy processing research and energy crop production consultancy.

Craig Palmer

B. Com, CFO

Craig Palmer graduated with a B. Com (Finance) degree from the University of Cape Town in 1983. He has over 20 years’ management and treasury experience running a business in large, high value logistics contracts with world leading NGOs and international Commodity Brokers. Over the last 12 years he has been providing consulting services, financial modelling and project management expertise for other renewable energy related projects in Australia.

Andrew Muckersie

Strategic Business Development Manager

Andrew is an Agri business professional and ManagingDirector of NFT NZ. With over 30 years international experience in Asia, Pacific and African markets. His extensive experience includes managing operations in China and India. His current responsibility includes NZoperations, business development and client relations.

Jim Laing

CTO

Jim Laing (CTO) is a qualified Electrical Engineer with over 35 years of experience in the mining and consulting industry in Africa and Australia. While working in Africa on stabilizing power supplies to the mines he realized the huge potential for distributed small generation facilities to alleviate the endemic power shortage. Recognizing that the Crop to Kilowatt process was ideally suited to Central/East Africa owing to its abundant rainfall and land area, he has dedicated himself to establishing biomass to power system as the preferred technology for the region.

Please feel free to contact us for more information or to arrange a time to meet in person

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19th Annual Africa Energy Forum

AER’s Managing Director, Lawrence Kirton and Consulting Engineer, Jim, Laing are attending this Conference in Copenhagen from 6th – 9th June 2017.

The Africa Energy Forum (AEF) is the global investment meeting for Africa’s power, energy, infrastructure and industrial sectors. Nineteen years in the running, AEF brings together senior-level representatives from governments, utilities, regulators, power developers, financial institutions, technology providers, consultants, law firms and large energy consumers to form partnerships, identify opportunities and collectively move the industry forward. AEF has a loyal following of credible players working in the power space, and a track record of delivering a valuable networking experience. AEF 2016 attracted 2,100 participants from 80 countries, 32 of those being African.

Opening of Southern Oils Bio-refinery

Lawrence Kirton attended the opening of the first Queensland Renewable Bio-refinery, in Gladstone on 1 June 2017. The bio-refinery is keen to buy pyrolysis oil from producers to refine/upgrade into drop in diesel or at least shipping fuel quality pyrolysis oils.

Adelaide Bioenergy Australia Event

AER were in attendance at this business breakfast held in Adelaide on 25 May 2017. Representatives from leading research organisations and ARENA were also in attendance

Presentation to Mareeba Cane Growers

On Saturday 29 April 2017, Lawrence Kirton and Craig Palmer gave a formal presentation to the Cane Growers Group from Mareeba. The presentation focused on delivering the following outcomes:

  •  Reduce mill energy costs

  •  Repurpose waste streams more efficiently

  •  Overcome the burden of transport costs to mill

  •  Ensure the ongoing viability of the mill

  •  Create a conduit for cane growers to buy back the mill

  •  Facilitate regional economic development

  •  Seek long term power agreements with Ergon

  •  Transfer sugar industry from an industrial economy to a bio economy

News
Our History

June 2017

 AER submitted a Scoping Study to the Queensland Government Department of Biofutures for a Funding Proposal to conduct a Detailed Feasibility Study titled “Promoting Energy Independence in Queensland”.

The purpose of this Study is to investigate the viability for the establishment of Biofuel production facilities at Mossman Sugar Mill and at the Mareeba Grower’s Site using two key sugar cane waste streams.

Project Outcomes

  • Cheaper, sustainable renewable energy alternative for mills and cane growers will displace diesel use for transport fuels and/or electricity at the point of consumption.

  • Biofuel production will provide an additional revenue stream for the sugar industry.

  • Diversification into biofuel crop production by growers will improve soil health via crop rotation.

  •  Production of cheaper biodiesel will reduce growers’ energy costs during harvest.

  • Use of by product slow release fertilizers will minimise nutrient leaching into the Great Barrier Reef. 


Apr 2017

AER conducted a Business Development tour of Africa to explore project opportunities offshore.

 As part of its project development pipeline, AER has identified a number of qualifying mines and remote communities situated in Sub-Saharan Africa which could benefit from the ability to significantly reduce their operating costs, increase their power and fuel independence and flexibility, substantially reduce their environmental carbon impact and participate more meaningfully in local society.

Currently 10 projects are in submission stage to National Development Authorities – valued at $60m-$75m.

Tanzania

Nungwe Bay village – 1MW supplying Geita Mine pump station and villagers’ rice plantation from Lake Victoria.

Zambia

Shamoongas Village – supplying Nampundwe mine with 1MW – irrigated by mine dewatering

Filibaba Community – supplying ZESCO with 1MW – irrigated from stream

Hippo Pool – supplying Chingola town with 1-2MW – irrigated from Kafue River.

Mpongwe Village – supplying Zesco with 1MW – irrigated from Kafue River

Malawi

Nkhotakhota – 1MW supplying ESCOM grid – irrigated from Chia Lagoon (Lake Malawi)

Ntchisi – 1MW supplying ESCOM grid – irrigated from river

Salima – 1-2MW supplying ESCOM grid – irrigated from Lake Malawi

Rwanda

Lake Muhazi – 1-2 MW suppling Rwanda

Lake Cyohoha – 1 MW supplying Rwanda

Feb 2017

AER, in association with GHD Pty Ltd, was awarded a $268,000 Grant from the Federal Government Department of Water under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to implement the Oakover Valley Pre-Feasibility Study. The companies were assigned to undertake a pre-feasibility study to establish the potential nature and viability of an irrigation precinct in the vicinity of the Oakover River in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

A desktop site review and preliminary mapping has been completed, soil and water resources assessments have been completed; indicative scheme design completed together with environmental, agronomic and economic assessments plus land tenure strategy and approvals. A Final Report is scheduled to be delivered by June 2017.

Dec 2015

C2K™ prepared an Information Memorandum to offer equity by subscription of up to $10 million to a foundation investor for the C2K™ Bioenergy Project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The Project planned to produce at least 10 million litres of biofuel per annum and reduce carbon emissions of at least 46,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

The Project was designed to repurpose more than 2.5 billion litres of waste water annually, replace 10 million litres of diesel per annum and create over 35,000 Large Generation Certificates (LGCs) annually under the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET).

 

June 2014

AER’s wholly owned Project Company, C2K™ Pty Ltd, was awarded a $300,000 Measure Grant from the Australian Federal Government Department of Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to complete a Detailed Feasibility Study titled " Preparatory Activities for the Development of an Off Grid renewable energy island solution to reduce diesel dependency using mine dewatering in the Pilbara.

Following an independent peer review conducted on behalf of ARENA, it was concluded that the project was technically and economically feasible.  The project is now eligible for an ARENA grant


April 2014

AER, in association with Warrawagine Cattle Station, received a $3,000,000 Grant from WA State Government’s department of the Pilbara Development Commission (PDC) under their Pilbara Hinterland Agricultural Development Initiative (PHADI) through the Royalties for Regions program.

The objectives were to a) establish a 38 ha centre pivot site at Woodie Woodie to evaluate irrigated agriculture utilising mine dewatering in order to provide the knowledge required to promote it as an investment opportunity to third parties; and b) evaluate technology to produce locally source bio-energy for off-grid mines.

The outcomes were that high quality crops with good yields were also achieved for both summer and winter seasons, the results of which point to the potential for irrigated fodder/energy crop production.

Mar 2013

AER acquired a $250,000 PWO Grant on behalf of Consolidated Minerals Ltd through WA State Government Royalties for Regions Program for their Woodie Woodie Bio-fuels Project, growing and establishing trees suitable to sequester carbon and for potential use as biomass energy, composting and timber. This project achieved its objectives by a) growing 7 different indigenous tree species to demonstrate their biomass potential using drip irrigation methods supplied by mine dewatering, and b) developing a pathway to an alternative power generation facility as well as providing a fodder crop for the neighbouring Cattle Station to drought proof their herd.


Dec 2012

AER acquired a $250,000 Pilbara Water Opportunities (PWO) Grant from the Western Australian (WA) State Government Royalties for Regions Program for AER’s Project entitled “Development of Bio-Energy Economy using Natural Resources in the Pilbara Region”. The Project delivered outcomes on a 1 ha trial site by establishing planting, irrigation and nutrition protocols for Grain and Sweet Sorghum from mine dewatering. Fresh cut record yields of 112 tonnes/ha and 140 tonnes/ha were achieved.

Renewable Energy

The company has secured exclusive agreements with equipment suppliers and has integrated a number of proven technologies in order to develop its unique Business Model, aptly named Crop2kilowatt™ (C2K™). This business model is tailor made to suit remote areas and is easily replicable and thus very scalable, with AER having identified numerous mine site target customers across Australia and Sub-Saharan Africa to deliver economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly solutions.

The Anaerobic Digestion Process

Primary feed source is sorghum, using soya beans and maize as crop rotation for soil rejuvenation.
Grown on centre pivot irrigation with a harvest cycle of 90/100 days i.e. 3 crops per year
Placed into anaerobic digestion (AD) tanks to convert the biomass to biogas.
Biogas is supplied directly to generators after washing.
Digester waste is recycled as a compost reducing chemical fertiliser demand.

Pyrolysis

We have strong links to a bioenergy company in South Africa which has spent the last 5 years researching efficient pyrolysis technology with a focus on thermal conversion rates that produce high quality liquid fuel and steam plus electricity. Recent test results using sugar cane Tops and Trash have revealed high yielding bio crude oil.

Agribusiness

AER is undertaking a hybrid screening program to identify the optimal sweet sorghum hybrids in the North and West Australian regions of Australia which are capable of high yielding biomass and which can be upgraded to other value products via existing industries.

Examples are:

  • biodigestion of Sweet Sorghum to produce bio-methane to generate electricity or be processed into Bio-CNG/LNG for transport fuels to replace diesel;

  • syngas, gasification for producing heat or electricity, high value chemicals, terpenes, oils etc and drop in diesel.

  • AER will partner a leading university for pilot cultivation of superior sorghum and another research organisation will carry out anaerobic digestion trials to compare bio-methane yields from cultivars.

                             Industries

AER is a technology integrator in the waste to energy and renewable bioenergy industry which delivers unique energy solutions to customers in remote areas.
AER works as a collaborative renewable energy partner with its clients to identify the most appropriate methodology to repurpose waste streams into beneficial energy resources.

Create Sustainable Energy Solutions


Our Company

AER was established in 2010 by its founders Lawrence Kirton and Craig Palmer. The founders bring a combined value of over 50-years’ experience and business skills in agronomy and project management expertise.

 The business is located in Perth Western Australia with project interests in the Pilbara WA, Far North Queensland and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Our Mission

 The company name reflects our mission to produce renewable energy through the combined application of agricultural technology and techniques for the effective use and recycling of resources, thereby benefiting all stakeholders and putting energy production at AER projects in balance with supporting natural systems.

Our Values

Our core business is based on the highest level of economic, environmental and social accountability.

Our aim is to establish long term value relationships with people by maximising returns for mutual prosperity.

Our culture is to deliver excellence and superior products with honesty, integrity and commitment.

AER is a developer of sustainable resources, primarily renewable energy, biofuel and industrial carbon products, manufactured from diverted waste streams and cultivated biomass

AgGrow Energy Resources Pty Ltd (AER) is a privately owned company based in Perth, Western Australia, that has brought together the technology and project management required to:

  • Establish bio-energy fuelled renewable energy island systems (REIS) that cost effectively reduce fossil diesel dependence at mine sites and remote communities.

  • Divert waste streams from landfill and process them to produce renewable energy and valuable co products such as fertilizers, biochar, carbon black and high octane liquid fuel.

  • Deliver individual project investment opportunities, which combine advanced growth technology, innovative agricultural techniques, state of the art data information systems, patented fuel processing systems and management and partnerships expertise.

Renewable Energy Solutions