As the demand for environmentally friendly and at the same time efficient heating fuels is constantly increasing, we have set ourselves the goal of converting the wood waste in Central Africa intocpellets and briquettes of the best quality.
Despite the Covid situation, we have succeeded in bringing high quality wood pellets to the European market within two years.
In 2019, as a project for the Austrian Development Agency was coming to a close, the prospect of analyzing the potential for wood pellets in Central Africa appeared. After completing a rather extensive market analysis, Congo Basin Pellets GmbH was established in March 2020. Pellet manufacturing equipment was acquired in China, where machinery costs are substantially lower than in Europe.
Because of COVID-induced shipping delays, the machinery only arrived in early 2021. That entire year was devoted to setting up the production lines, as well as creating ad hoc machinery for unexpected needs. Although the first test pellets were produced in April 2021, it was not until March 2022 that pellets using hard woods were successfully produced. The pellet production was much smoother with 8mm ringdies, slightly wider than the 6mm standard size.
From the outset, the company established a low automation factory, with much higher levels of employment than in Europe: at cruising speed, in 2023, we expect to provide employment to about 70 people, plus many spot jobs for specialized workers such as welders, electricians, mechanics, truckers, day laborers, etc. From the outset we have employed only Gabonese nationals.
The management team consists of a skeleton staff in Austria, at the holding level; and a more substantial team in Gabon.
Founder & CEO
After engineering studies in Boston (MIT, 1980, Bachelor of Science civil engineering), he worked in West Africa for 4 years as a transportation planner. He then pursued management studies in California (Stanford University MBA, 1985), and accumulated extensive experience in management and business development, particularly in emerging markets, where he worked as an engineer as well as a publisher and financier. During his 40+ years of professional experience, he worked in about 30 countries on all continents (except Australia).