Craton Equity Backs African Biofuels Company

Principle Energy Ltd., a biofuel development company with projects targeting sub-Saharan Africa, has secured a $10 million equity commitment from Craton Equity Partners.


Craton Equity Partners, a leading Southern California clean technology fund, has made a commitment of $10 million to Principle Energy Limited (PEL), a sustainable biofuel development company with projects that target sub-Saharan Africa. PEL’s first development, located in Dombe, Mozambique, is a vertically-integrated sugarcane ethanol operation, which aims to be entirely environmentally sustainable, bearing little to no carbon footprint. The project is expected to generate approximately 60 million gallons of ethanol a year once it ramps up to full production.

The announcement was made by Craton managing partners Tom Soto and Bob MacDonald. “The PEL model demonstrates the next generation of biofuel development, using one of the most efficient sources of ethanol – sugarcane – to produce badly needed fuel for the European Union and the United States, said Soto. “The carbon footprint of the source, and of the development as a whole, testifies to the commitment PEL and Craton have toward assuring that this effort is sound both economically and environmentally, and that it supports Mozambique’s efforts to ensure that only a small percentage of the country’s arable land is used for biofuel production, with the balance used for agriculture,” said MacDonald.

Craton’s investment will contribute to the ramp-up and working capital needs of the Dombe Project, including the construction of the ethanol production facility, the cultivation of 18,000 hectares (45,000 acres) of sugarcane feedstock, and the expansion of housing, clinics and schools for local residents — approximately 2,000 of whom will be employed by the project. The project is already considered one of the country’s leading economic opportunities and one that assists ongoing sustainable development efforts.

In addition to producing a competitively priced low-carbon fuel for the international market, the project supports the efforts of the Mozambique government to meet critical infrastructure development needs and adheres to rigorous sustainability criteria with respect to all facets of the operation, including energy generation, agricultural practices, and waste disposal.

PEL ( was founded by its primary investor, Principle Capital Holdings, located in Geneva, Switzerland. Principle’s founder and executive chairman, Brian Myerson, is a renowned activist investor who has managed several high-performing funds over the past years, garnering attention and respect from institutional investors. He is a long time investor in the southern Africa region. “We’re extremely pleased to have the commitment of Craton,” Myerson said. “Their expertise in this space, and their roots in the sustainability arena make Craton a unique partner for PEL.” Myerson added, “In addition, having more U.S.-based investment helps to qualify this model for production even further, with the new commitment to clean energy technologies by the Obama Administration and Congress.”

Craton Equity Partners ( is a leading Southern California “clean tech” fund, focused on bringing to market technologies that mitigate the effects of climate change and environmental degradation. Craton’s investments range from green building products to earth heat exchange projects and smart grid technologies deployed throughout the United States. Craton is one of the country’s leading voices on sustainable investing and using investment models to respond effectively to the urgent environmental challenges of our time.