this is a short description
this is a short description
The Sugar Protocol which was an agreement between the European Union and the ACP Countries ended in 2009. This lead to a drastic decrease in the revenue of planters to which many of them could not sustain and started abandoning their lands.
The accompanying measures proposed by the Government to help small farmers to maintain their lands under sugar cane cultivation, has not been successful to a great extent as increasing cost of production and unavailability of labour for timely agricultural operations have discouraged most them, thus causing their fields to be left uncultivated.
The centralization process of sugar mills has brought down 16 factories to 4 actually. The table below shows the status of land abandonment in the Northern and Eastern factory areas now centralized on Terra (Ex Belle Vue) and Alteo (Ex Fuel)
Equilibre business model targets those planters who are no more capable of cultivating sugar cane in their fields. These planters shall be regrouped into manageable blocks and turn key production system from planting to harvest would be proposed to them for biomass production with Arundo Donax.
The biomass production project of Equilibre has also targeted medium to large non- miller planters who are also struggling to maintain their profitability especially on their lot of marginal and non- productive lands
The table below shows the distribution of arable land for Mauritius
|Area (ha)||No. of Planters|
|Up to 0.49||14572|
|0.5 – 0.99||6447|
|1.0 – 1.99||3458|
|2.0 – 4.99||1893|
|5.0 – 9.99||340|
|10 – 99.99||127|
|More than 100||50|
Source: National Action Plan for Sustainable Land Management for Mauritius & Rodrigues By Prof. Dr B. Lalljee, UOM
Mauritius is ideally positioned to prove the Equilibre biomass-to-energy model, become a showcase and serve as a base to export the model into Africa and other emerging markets. It has a strong framework for the development of sustainable energy and has embraced the biomass-to- energy concept.
Mauritius is heavily dependent on imported energy sources (coal and heavy oil). Having become a signatory to the Paris COP 21 Accord it is keen to reduce greenhouse gas emission. It also needs to reduce the damaging ecological impact caused by disposal of toxic coal ash on the island.
As a result of the decline in the sugar industry, sugar cane production is declining at an estimated 6% per annum. There is general agreement that sugar can is no longer viable as a strategic industry.
As a result, small and medium planters have abandoned an estimated 17,000 Ha of land, while large-scale planters are economically viable only by using bagasse to supplement coal in their electricity generating plants. This provides a strong land bank for Equilibre’s activities.
Mauritius plans to add 200 MW of additional electricity generating capacity by 2022. It estimates that X MWs will be added by wind and photovoltaic sources, and the government is committed to increasing biomass into the sustainable energy mix.
Despite the Mauritian Government targeting a 30% decrease in greenhouse emissions by 2030, coal usage has increased in the past decade from 82,2% to 85,4% of total electricity production as a result of lower bagasse availability caused by decline in sugar production.
Dr Manuel Fuentes. Manuel has 20 years’ experience in the Sustainable Energy, Climate Change and Environmental fields; and excellent knowledge and understanding of established methodologies for the integration of environment and climate change in sustainable urban development; and in designing and implementing sustainable energy programs and specific measures for governments.
A British / Argentinean national, Manuel has participated in a great number of international projects in Europe, Latin America, Africa and other regions in these fields. He has advised governments, Multilateral Financial Institutions and Development Institutions in energy policy and climate change strategies.
Currently, he is the Director of the International Urban Cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean, programme financed by the EU.
Manuel has developed the Mauritius’ Renewable Energy Masterplan, supported of the Implementation of the Ethiopian Energy Efficiency Program, and developed the Rural Electrification Master plan for Uganda and Ecuador.
He provided technical assistance in developing the Scoping of Potential Interventions in the Energy Sector in Lesotho and the Regional Programme for the sector of Sustainable Energy and Marine Biology in Caribbean OCT’s countries under 11th EDF.
He supported the preparation of the “EU Accountability Report on Financing for Development” for the years 2013-4-15 and the study “Study on Accuracy of the Commission’s methodology to assess financing of Climate Change, Desertification and Biodiversity” (Rio Markers).
He has worked in implementing the East African Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Centre and the SICA Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Centre (in Central America).
Manuel has gained significance experience with EU development policies as well as with EU development cooperation programmes. Relevant examples are: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the context of Climate Change in Latin America; Linking Income-Generating activities and micro-enterprises with Energy Services for the Poor in the Chaco Region (Crecer con Energía); Third Party Financing through SMEs as a strategy for developing innovative energy projects in Argentina.
Manuel Fuentes has had 6 studies published by either EU, the World Bank, the Inter- American Development Bank and the British Government plus several publications and communications in congresses. He is also the co-author of the best seller book The Ecohouse Design Guide Book published by Architectural Press in 2001.
Dr Fuentes received his PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (USA) in the field of Physics. Manuel is fluent in Spanish, English and Portuguese, both written and oral.
Dr. Vikram Seebaluck is a Senior Lecturer and Ex-Head of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of Mauritius.
He has a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering and lectures and researches in the field of renewable energy technologies with an emphasis on bioenergy for sustainable development.
He has been a Doctoral Researcher at the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute and Principal Researcher and Co-Leader for an EC-funded thematic research network on sugarcane in southern Africa.
He published a book entitled ‘Bioenergy for Sustainable Development and International Competitiveness – The Role of Sugar Cane in Africa’ in 2012 which received back cover comments from global key personalities including Dr. R. K. Pachauri, Director-General, TERI and Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and 2007 Nobel Prize Winner, Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations amongst many other global stakeholders.
He is currently working on the SCOPE Bioenergy & Sustainability project which unifies leading global biomass experts for promoting bioenergy worldwide. He is also currently the Regional African Focal Coordinator of the United Nations University-Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) which focuses on the sustainable management of environmental resources (soil, water, waste, energy).
Mr Agenbag has 15 years experience in phases of business and project development, including process design, commissioning and optimization of a range of processing facilities across multiple commodities. After completing his Chemical Engineering degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 2003, James worked as a process design engineer at EPCM companies including GRD Minproc and DRA Mineral Projects.
In 2008, James moved to Australia to help build DRA’s Brisbane office. His responsibilities included research and development of new business and client management in Southern Africa, Australia and Indonesia. James also has substantial experience in beneficiation optimisation with emphasis on various technologies including some technologies where he jointly holds patent rights. James has delivered technical papers within his area of expertise within the chemical engineering area. More recently, he has been responsible for the process engineering discipline across Peabody Energy Australia’s mineral projects. James is also affiliated with ECSA as a Professional Engineer. He is a Member of IEAust (Chem), and is an active Member of the Australian Coal Processing Society.
Mr Agenbag serves as both executive and non-executive director on the boards of companies in Australia. He is currently engaged as regional manager across Africa for a subsidiary of a ASX listed company. His responsibilities include business optimisation, project management, market research, development of new business and client management.
James has an extensive international network that stretches across Australia, South Africa, USA and Mauritius.
Mr. Agenbag conducted several technical audits of power plants in Mauritius to quantify the efficiency of the feedstock used when burnt in the boilers and was able to recommend alternatives that could improve boiler and overall plant operation efficiency thus reducing costs.
James has been actively engaged in the consulting of the Equilibre arundo donax to electricity project since 2014. In particular, he has been responsible for preparing the Equilibre project financial business plan, researched the Mauritius existing IPPs power plants efficiency and adaptability to different types of feedstock, including arundo donax. Mr. Agenbag has been involved in the preliminary feasibility study for an arundo donax pelletizing manufacturing facility to be built in Mauritius. He has also performed a comparative technical and commercial analysis on fossil coal versus arundo donax biomass when used as feedstock to produce electricity.
Bilal Anwar is an International Climate Policy and Climate Finance professional with 18 years of exrerience in United Nations Inter-governmental climate change negotiations process, international climate finance policy development, implementation of global scale multi-stakeholder climate finance related adaptation and migration programs and projects.
Currently heading up the newly established entity ‘The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub’, with headquarters in Mauritius abd country support programmes in number of Commonwealth member countries. The goal of The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub is to provide technical and capacity enhancement support to small island nations, least developed (LDCS) and other climatically vulnerable countries in facilitating their access to interantional sources of climate finance.
Previously, served in ‘United nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’ from 2000-2010 in Bonn, Germany, as a Team Leader, in providing policy options and operational approaches in the inter-governmental climate change negotiations process and in developing the methodological and technical mechanisms in the development of Global Carbon Market. During this period also led the UN Climate Finance and Capacity Building Programme for the developing and climatically vulnerable countries of the world.
Alphakat GmbH is a German company that focuses on: -Engineering, components production, Research and Development, electric and electronic technologies-Plants and systems featuring the use of an advanced catalyst-Plants that convert any organic material to synthetic diesel with a process copied from the natural process of crude oil production (KDV technology), Alphakat actually is a synonym of “Catalytic Depolymerization” KDV.
Since 2003 Alphakat GmbH invented and patented what today is our main product, known as “KDV technology” based on our catalytic low temperature pressureless process.
The KDV plants use a catalyst with the same structure as what occurs in nature, outputs the same product and with the same environmentally benign process.
The plant executes this process much faster than in nature since the structure of the catalyst is advanced (fine-molecule, ion-exchange and 100% crystallized) and the process takes place in an oil cycle instead of a water cycle, with a turbine rather than in a sediment.
The result is that a conversion that took millions of years in nature happens in just minutes.
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