Egypt: Building Egypt’s biogas market

Startups offering biogas or waste treatment solutions are slowly gearing up in the Middle East, but only Taqa Solutions had a reality television show as a launching pad.

Tina Boules was the winner of Egypt’s inaugural series of El Mashrou3 (The Project), a TV show styling itself as The Apprentice. Using the almost $45,000 cash prize, Boules and her business partner George Armanious are trying to develop a market for biogas and pick the low-hanging fruit among the country’s poultry farmers, processed food producers and hotels.

Boules had been thinking about creating a business based on selling biogas systems since before she graduated from university in June 2013. When she mentioned the idea to Armanious he was quick to turn her away from using rice husks and towards poultry, a sector he knew well from working in his father’s poultry farm equipment business.

Both founders expect to have at least one signed customer by the end of the year, and despite the current struggles are buoyed by what they are seeing in China and India. A trip to India three years ago showed Armanious that it is possible to shift the poultry industry onto using biogas. Meanwhile, Boules has her eye on movements in the Chinese market, where new poultry developments are required to include a biogas system.

“It doesn’t make any sense for the government to provide you gas if you can make it yourself,” she said, adding that in her view it’ll only take two or three customers to normalise biogas as a viable energy source and thus attempt to create a demand for their services among the poultry sector.

Source: Wamda
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