Back 22.03.2016

Sustainable charcoal business makes headway in Tanzania

2015 was a successful year for Charcoal Briquettes Tanzania Ltd., a joint venture of Gaia and ARTI Energy. The company has quickly moved from start-up to ramp-up stage, with production and demand growing steadily.

Charcoal Briquettes Tanzania Ltd. (CBTL) manufactures sustainable charcoal from agricultural waste. Its briquettes replace the wood-based charcoal used for cooking in households, restaurants and other institutions. The consumption of wood-based charcoal is the primary reason for Tanzania’s severe deforestation.

By the end of 2015, CBTL’s business concept was well in place: employees trained, product quality improved, the sustainability of the product carefully assessed. The company has made a strategic effort to market its briquette brand Mkaa Mkombozi. Thanks to expanded manufacturing capacity, logistical arrangements, advertising and marketing, and an established sales network, Mkaa Mkombozi has become a success, proving the company’s business idea and paving way for a future production scale-up.

Abdala Chinunga works as part of the briquette manufacturing team.

CBTL’s net sales and profitability grew steadily from the previous year as a result of its well-positioned offering and its focus on quality and customer satisfaction. Its briquette production also increased significantly from previous years, and the Salasala manufacturing facility now houses four production lines, ready to meet an increasing market demand. Quality, health and safety awareness has improved, and customer diversity has increased thanks to focused sales to institutional and industrial customers.

CBTL’s funding from the Nordic Climate Facility ceased in the end of 2015. During the funding period, CBTL gained a capacity to combine strong climate, environmental and social benefits with a remarkable growth potential.

“The financial year 2016 will be an important and challenging year. Increasing production capacity requires improved handling of raw material – and even more importantly, carefully planned logistics,” says Nachiket Potnis from ARTI Energy.

“CBTL is already a unique success, showing that a well-designed business concept can generate significant sustainability impacts. The coming months will be crucial in proving the business concept at a larger scale,” says Gaia’s Chairman Pasi Rinne.

Charcoal Briquettes Tanzania Ltd. represents a new type of private sector initiative with a strong focus on positive health, environmental and climate impacts.

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