This venture (might as well call it adventure) began in 2008, when a friend from Nigeria described the electricity situation in that country and the rest of Africa.
Being a project developer for small distributed cogeneration plants, I was vaguely aware that electricity was a problem in Africa, but had no idea how dire the situation was, and what a critical impediment it is for development and prosperity. This was the beginning of a long road that culminated in the creation of EcoPower Africa.
About our solution
After an extensive review of the market, we developed this set of requirements:
The system has to be affordable. It should not depend on donations from NGO’s or government subsidies. It is priced for normal commercial transactions.
The electrical output must be cheap. Since the fuel for generating electricity will be either free or very cheap, the electricity generated will be dramatically less expensive than electricity produced by diesel generators.
The system has to be as reliable as the incumbent diesel technology.
The system has to be renewable, but unlike solar or wind, offer predictable performance.
The system will bring the distributed aspect of cellular telephony to electricity generation and distribution.
The system is designed for the needs of small to medium businesses.
The system seeks to enhance the income of farmers by creating a market for agricultural waste as well as growing energy crops.
The system is large enough to satisfy the needs of commercial users, but does not require interconnection and the attendant government interface complications.
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After considering the available technologies and an in-depth review of various equipment suppliers, we found that the GEK Biomass Gasifier from All Power Labs best meets these requirements.
All Power Labs is headed by Jim Mason, a true visionary with extensive experience in developing countries. Having recognized power generation as a central problem, Jim assembled a team of dedicated scientists and engineers to create a technology for developing nations. APL is one of very few companies worldwide that are actively engaged in the research and development of micro-scale biomass gasification, and the only one that is focusing on the real-world needs and business environment in developing countries.
APL employs a unique community-based development process, in which users are encouraged to contribute to the continuous refinement of the gasifier. The result is a highly accelerated and effective R&D schedule.
APL provides robust technical support, from APL as well as its community of users.
EcoPower Africa, LLC is the authorized reseller of the GEK Gasifier in Nigeria, with plans to expand to other countries in West Africa.
Feel free to call or email me with any questions, requests for information and anything else that will help us make this technology available in West Africa.
EcoPower Africa, LLC