A Thika-based renewable energy firm has acquired a Sh110 million loan from a government investment agency for its expansion.
Global Supply Solutions, which deals with manufacture of charcoal briquettes from pineapple plant waste, is upbeat that the funding from the industrial and commercial development corporation (ICDC) will help it double its annual capacity to 50,000 metric tonnes, as it focuses on the external market.
“This funding will help us begin our journey of replicating our success in Kenya in multiple countries, mainly across Africa,” said the firm’s managing director and founder Allan Marega.
ICDC finances projects that have high potential for creating wealth and jobs across various sectors of the economy.
The briquettes maker currently employs 20 people at its Thika-based factory. It sources the pineapple waste from Del Monte plantations, one of the largest producers of the crop locally.
Briquettes are an alternative to charcoal produced out of wood. Their uptake is encouraged as the technology does not involve felling of trees, a practice that often has negative impact on the climate pattern.
Among the countries that the briquettes company is targeting for expansion is Ghana, South Africa, Costa Rica, Philippines, Thailand and Australia where the company says it has signed long-term supply contracts.
The firm has partnership with World Bank-backed Kenya Climate Innovation Center which offers technical support in areas of patenting and laboratory testing.