Fluence (ASX:FLC) was one of the few ASX winners today after unlocking funding for its Ivory Coast water treatment plant.

The company announced it met the Israel Discount Bank’s conditions that were set on the company to obtain finance.

The proceeds, totalling US$190 million ($270m), will now begin flowing to the company which declared it was all systems go.

Having already won a formal notice to proceed from the government, it intends to commence construction immediately.

The plant will treat water from a freshwater lagoon that is Cote d’Ivoire’s largest freshwater reserve and close to Abidjan, the nation’s largest city.

When complete, Fluence’s plant will process 150,000 cubic metres per day (150 million litres).

Speaking with Stockhead, Fluence boss Henry Charrabé said it was a phenomenal milestone.

His company had secured the package in January but it took until now, nearly 10 months later, to meet the final conditions.

“Now we’re good to go – this is a very, very nice bridge to us,” he said.


Why Cote d’Ivoire?

Fluence has other projects including a desalination plant in Brazil which, according to the company, will be the largest in the nation.

But Charrabé says Cote d’Ivoire specifically was an opportunity not just globally, but also amidst African nations.

“I think the opportunities in Africa are tremendous, but you must make the distinction that Africa is a continent. There’s lots of opportunities in several countries in Africa,” he said.

“But I think the key here was that Ivory Coast has 70 per cent of the world’s chocolate or cocoa, they have pretty good rating with the IMF.

“We were able to of course combine that with export credit financing. And [we had] the technology to help them treat the water for drinking water.

“So [it was] the perfect mix that allowed us to make the project happen despite the fact it might appear to outsiders that it took a long time.

“Getting these projects done is never a matter of days.”

Fluence shares rose by up to 20 per cent this morning.

Fluence (ASX:FLC) share price chart