Am sourcing for funds to establish a large-scale briquette manufacturing plant in Kenya which shall be providing affordable E-co friendly clean energy for domestic, commercial and industrial use.That is what my 'Green Fire Solutions' initiative is all about, and has been largely inspired by the need to preserve our natural resources as well as ensuring a clean and safe environment..
This initiative comes at a time our Kenyan govt has recently banned logging owing to massive deforestation attributed to the practice which has left large part of the country without tree cover which has impacted detrimental effects on our environment.Logging have been rampant largely due to charcoal and firewood sourcing which are sadly the main source of energy in the region and hence the ban has created a very huge gap in the energy industry.The demand for energy is increasing not only in Kenya but East Africa region for households, businesses and industries.Increasing populations, aggressive deforestation, expanding economies and a lack of regulation have led to increasing fuel prices and shortage which often hits hardest the households and businesses most in need.
According to recent research, 82% of the population cooks with wood and firewood.Within the urban areas,kerosene (relatively expensive) is the most widely used fuel with 44.6% population usage, followed by charcoal with 30.2% population usage, whilst in rural areas, wood is predominantly used by 88.2% of the population.Charcoal and wood is also used for many institutional,commercial and industrial applications such as cooking in hotels and restaurants,space heating for poultry farmers, and heating applications in industrial boilers.
With such a high dependence on fuel wood and charcoal for both households and businesses in Kenya, it is not surprising that the country has experienced continued loss of forested area and can take some decades to recover.This is what informed the govt decision to ban logging and it has consequently created acute shortage of firewood and charcoal, hence now the gap in the industry.This has led to significant hikes in the price of fuel and other commodities, increasing the cost of living for many people and also increasing running costs in industries and businesses.
For this reason, I saw an opportunity and came up with an idea for a solution which i dubbed 'Green Fire Solution'.This is a start-up that shall ensure production of briquettes as the best alternative energy solution.Unlike charcoal and firewood, briquettes are made from compressed combustible waste materials e.g. rice husks, coconut shells,maize cobs etc forming a hard, dense and compact energy product.The following are the major reasons why briquettes are highly marketable and a great solution to the current problem in Kenya, and hence worth of investing:
1. RENEWABLE: Briquettes make use of organic materials which are common and renewable.Hence, sustainability is ensured.
2. AVAILABLE & ECO-FRIENDLY: Unlike firewood and charcoal that purely depend on trees, Briquettes are made from highly available waste products hence also helping to preserve our forests (natural resources) while also being constructive way of waste management.
3.SMOKELESS: Briquettes do not emit gases or any toxic chemicals like sulfer
4.SLOW BURNING: The compressing process allows briquettes to burn for a lot longer
5.MORE EFFICIENT: Along with compactness is the increase in heating value.They have a higher practical thermal value and much lower ash content.In fact,they are 40% more efficient as well as hotter and longer lasting than charcoal and firewood.
6. AFFORDABLE: The fact that they are made from waste products proves that the production cost is low and hence that makes the product inexpensive.
Currently, we don't have any major large-scale briquette production firm due to the fact that all along, charcoal and firewood has dominated the market..In fact, there has not been much consumer awareness for briquettes as it is being done much on small scale by self help groups (doing it either manually or using locally fabricated machines).The few 'low key' professional production firms doing on large scale has been targeting specific institutions e.g. schools. In addition to that, the following gaps exist in the current market for briquettes:
1. Lack of high volume carbonization technologies
2.There has been very low volume supply of briquettes to industry and export markets
3.Substitution of urban demand for charcoal with briquettes has been overlooked
Also, other extra potential ready markets for briquettes in the commercial,industrial, domestic and export market segments exist as outlined below:
1.COMMERCIAL: Definite potential to scale up in tourism industry by ensuring supply to tourist lodges
2.INDUSTRIAL: Supply to industrial consumers of none-carbonized briquettes for boiler consumption is not developed and presents significant opportunity due to current scarcity of firewood and charcoal plus high costs of fossil fuels.
3. DOMESTIC: Smokeless characteristics are a key advantage that shall make even the urban consumers used to kerosene and charcoal embrace the sweet change to briquettes.
4. EXPORT: Significant demand from the middle east due to popularity in barbecuing.
The establishment of 'Green Fire Solutions" start-up of a large-scale quality briquette production plant shall be a great solution to the current huge gap and shall ensure sustainable supply of clean Eco-friendly energy for domestic, commercial and industrial use..This shall be achieved by purchasing modern high capacity briquette production machines and necessary equipment and opening a collection point for feedstock (fortunately waste products).The funds for my start-up shall be used to:
1. Purchasing modern briquette manufacturing equipment
2. Acquiring production premises
3.Preliminary sourcing of feedstock and other raw materials fit for the start-up
4.Legal requirements e.g. necessary registrations and tax obligations
5.Human resources and Administrative costs
6.Marketing and branding