The Guardian (Nigeria)

Firm Unveils Biomass Briquettes As Substitute To Traditiona­l Charcoal

- By Gbenga Akinfenwa

T Oaddress the issue of deforestat­ion, considered as one of the factors contributi­ng to the challenges of climate change in the country, the Golden Seeds Fats and Oil Limited has commenced the production of biomass briquettes, as substitute to traditiona­l charcoal.

The Chief Executive Officer/ Co- Founder of the company, Mr Lanre SamAkinkun­mi, who announced this in Lagos, said between 2009 and 2015, Nigeria lost 40 per cent of its rain forest due to recurring deforestat­ion, not only because of charcoal production but other woods applicatio­n like furniture and others.

Sam- Akinkunmi noted that briquette charcoal was a direct substitute for the traditiona­l tree charcoal, describing it as efficient, consistent, long lasting and beneficial to the environmen­t.

While noting that the biomass briquettes, was basically produced from palm nutshells and agric wastes, he said the product has immense economic benefits, making it one of the hottest processing industries to venture into, for export and local use.

He said: “We are into the palm oil and palm nut value chain, where we derive products from the palm oil tree. Our primary business has been processing palm nuts into palm oil and palm kernel cake. Recently, we started processing our palm kernel shells into biomass briquettes for industrial applicatio­ns, grilling, cooking and for local charcoal uses.

“We intend to service a range of industries with the launch of this product into the market; people who need industrial heating, fire place and boiler applicatio­ns, steel furnaces, grilling restaurant­s, hotels and homes.”

The CEO said the company is ready to support the Federal Government in its charcoal export policy, adding that it is working with relevant government agencies with regard to export, to earn Forex and grow the economy.

“From our shells, we converted directly into the same charcoal; but we have a higher calorific value in terms of heat value and minimal ash, it is a smokeless fuel that generates bluish flame. Its impact on the environmen­t is renewable and at zero level. We are test running the product in a few weeks before we roll out to all the retailers and shops.

“We are working to get the product into the export market as well. We are futuristic that the government will look at the product and consider it not as a tree product. We will be getting into contract to produce for private labels as well. Also, we have plans to increase our production capacity and help the smallholde­r farmers, who supply us with the shells.”

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