14M USD Bamboo Biomass to power Bidco Africa plants
By Rolex Owino
Multi-award-winning Africa Plantation Capital signed an MOU to supply bamboo biomass to Bidco Africa group for a green and sustainable energy source. Bidco Africa Group needs over 60,000 tons of dry bamboo biomass annually to support its power plant facility in Thika, Kenya.
Africa Plantation Capital has been working on a business plan that includes Chipped Bamboo Biomass in the range of products that it is offering in the East Africa Region. Kenya, as well as most East Africa countries, is suffering from illegal lodging, causing a huge deforestation problem in the region. Timber prices per metric ton – dry (moisture 5-10 percent), chipped – are ranging between 50 and 70 dollars. The annual commercial demand for timber in the East Africa region is creating a great opportunity for those who are ready to offer a sustainable integrated solution.
Africa Plantation Capital is targeting to provide a minimum of 200,000 metric tons of dry, chipped bamboo biomass in Kenya and Uganda in the next five years. That is a targeted volume of 10 million to 14 million USD annual turn-over. In order to achieve this goal, Africa Plantation Capital, with the support of APC Group, is now investing in a collection centre with a drying and chipping facility to be able to accommodate and meet the demand of dry chipped bamboo biomass in Kenya.
Following the model that APC Group has been using in Asia, Africa Plantation Capital is planning to involve local farmers for the production of bamboo in strategically located areas, offering off-take contracts for a minimum of 15 years to out-growers.
This mega project requires the execution of a state-of-the-art business plan to secure its sustainability and profitability. The company has budgeted to invest 1.2 million USD to cover the needs and costs of its first Bamboo Energy Biomass Centre in Kenya, East Africa, which will be ready before the end of the year.
The MOU with Bidco Africa is marking the creation of a whole new market for the energy sector of East Africa, which not only will create a business opportunity but will also contribute to the fight against deforestation. It will also assist to achieve faster reforestation and a better environment thanks to the use of bamboo as an alternative sustainable green energy source.
Bamboo is a grass and has similar calorific value to most of the timber that is used currently in the region to produce energy. Its environmentally friendly characteristics make bamboo the ideal biomass to replace traditional timber in several uses, including energy.
Since the beginning of its operations in Kenya, it has been and remains APC’s core desire to be part of great causes that not only provide commercial comfort but also protect our precious environment. Last year, APC initiated talks with like-minded partners on the potentiality of this miracle grass called bamboo in saving our water towers as well as our environment at large.
Together with BIDCO and other partners, Africa Plantation Capital launched and committed to support a great initiative of planting one million bamboo seedlings. Africa Plantation Capital humbly requests all its partners and relevant stakeholders not to tire and to continue supporting this initiative, which will give better livelihoods to Kenya’s future generations.
Source: African Strategic-Ventures (ASV) & The Exchange.