Bidco signs bamboo supply deal to fire electricity plant


Bidco chairman Vimal Shah. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Consumer goods manufacturer Bidco Africa has signed a deal with a plantation management firm for supply of bamboo that it will use to generate power for its Thika-based factory.

Bidco, which manufactures edible oils, soaps, and detergents signed an agreement with Africa Plantation Capital Management Limited that will lead to supply of about 200 tonnes of dry bamboo daily.

The bamboo will be burned to steam up water that will spin turbines to generate electricity. “Bamboo is the ideal green, sustainable and renewable energy source which can be used to replace traditional timber,” Bidco chairman Vimal Shah said in a statement.

Currently, Bidco Africa uses up to 70 per cent of its own energy generated from renewable sources.

Africa Plantation Capital Management Limited has 500 acres under bamboo on its nucleus farm and has contracted farmers who have planted the crop on 2,000 acres.

“This is going to save thousands of trees every year and protect the ecosystem,” said Kosta Kioleoglou, Africa Plantation Capital CEO, in reference to the Bidco deal.

Bamboo is harvested in three to five-year cycles. The plant’s fibre also produces pulp. The fibre is preferred to cotton because it is softer and has anti-bacterial properties. This makes it suitable for clothes such as underwear and socks.