Thika-based charcoal briquette maker eyes expansion to 7 regional markets

Briquettes extracted from pineapple waste by the Global Supply Solutions limited at Thika factory on February 4, 2016. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Briquettes extracted from pineapple waste by the Global Supply Solutions Limited at Thika factory on February 4, 2016. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Thika-based renewable energy company Global Supply Solutions (GSS) has increased its production capacity backed by a Sh110 million funding from Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC).

The firm, which produces charcoal briquettes from pineapple fruits waste, plans to launch in seven new regional markets.

GSS says has finished installing two additional processing lines which doubles its production capacity to 50,000 metric tonnes a year.

“The demand for non-fossil, cleaner, environmentally friendly energy alternatives is growing rapidly, we’re seeing our clientele base expand all the time and that is why we needed to boost production,” said the Global Supply Solutions founder and CEO Allan Marega said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company produces the eco-friendly charcoal briquettes for industrial and home use.

Gained popularity

Briquette technology has gained popularity locally in recent years since the pellets burn for longer and also produce less smoke than normal charcoal derived from timber.

The firm’s clients include schools, manufacturing firms and hotels, but he plans to stock the eco-friendly fuel in several supermarkets with whom he has already begun negotiations.

ICDC — the government agency that finances development projects and industrial companies — advanced the funding to GSS in June 2015.

Mr Marega said the firm has installed the first of two pre-processing preparation lines.

He added plans are underway to install additional machinery at the plant later this year to boost GSS’s efficiency using “advanced processing machinery.”

“Our plans to expand into up to seven locations over the next five years are also on course. There are ongoing discussions with prospective partners and investors to participate in this growth. More on this will be announced in the near future,” said Mr Marega.

Pineapple producers

GSS plans to venture into Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, Costa Rica, Philippines, Thailand and Australia — where it has partnerships with large scale pineapple producers like Del Monte here in Kenya.

Pineapple briquettes, the entrepreneur says, produce less ash and they do not produce clinker residue which often erodes the lifespan of boilers such as those often used in hotels, industries and schools.