Golden Seed’s charcoal briquettes to the rescue of Nigeria’s forests

The high rate of forest depletion in Nigeria may soon be a thing of the past as Golden Seed Fats &Oil has launched biomass charcoal briquette called Maxiburn – a substitute for wood charcoal.

Golden Seed whose primary business is processing nuts into palm oil and palm cake has now shifted into the conversion of its palm kernel shell to biomass briquette used for industrial application, grilling and cooking as alternative to wood charcoal – which leads to huge deforestation and destruction of the environment.

“We are launching our biomass briquette made from agricultural waste into the market,” said Lanre Sam-Akinkunmi, co-founder and chief executive officer, Golden Seed during a press briefing.

“It is a direct substitute for wood charcoal which is the traditionally known charcoal. People who need industrial heating, a lot of boiler application, furnaces, restaurants, hotels and homes can use our biomass charcoal briquette,” Akinkunmi said.

“It is a product of high demand with great effect on our biodiversity as we have lost over 20 percent of our forest cover because of deforestation owing to the growing appetite for wood charcoal,” he added.

He stated that the biomass briquettes are smokeless fuel that has zero impact on the environment.

Currently, he noted that his organisation produces 400 metric tons (MT) of biomass charcoal briquette monthly, from palm kernel shell mainly sourced from smallholder palm oil growers.

According to him, the Maxiburn charcoal briquettes burn three times faster than wood charcoal, burning continuously for four straight hours while the traditional charcoals burns for only 45minutes.

He added that his organisation is working to partner with relevant government agencies such as the Ministry of Environment, and the Nigeria Export Promotion Council to ensure that the government lifts ban on charcoal export to enable Golden Seed tap earn substantial forex for the country through biomass charcoal briquette exports.

“Nigeria’s charcoal industry is a high volume market but it is facing huge clamp down owing to illegal logging of woods which forced the government to ban charcoal export,” he said.

“This is because there are no other sources of charcoal that people can produce charcoal from and that is why we came up with an alternative like this without having to cut down a tree by producing it from palm kernel shell,” he explained.

“We are looking at working with the FG to lift the ban of charcoal export in the country,” he stated.

He advised the government to introduce charcoal classification by sources, to enable the country tap opportunities in export opportunities amid acute FX shortages in the country.

“We can start classifying our charcoal whether it is from tree sources or agricultural waste,” he added.

He stated that everything used in making the biomass briquette is derived from oil palm and the only thing added is molasses – which is starch for binding.

He noted that Golden Seed is already talking with countries in He Europe and Asia for export as soon as the ban on charcoal id lifted.

He added that the briquette comes in various sizes, that it is cheaper than normal charcoal and meant for all income classes in the country.

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