Partner Spotlight: Novogaz
Novogaz is a Haitian company dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of bioethanol fuel and affordable stoves. Novogaz was selected by the US-based nonprofit Project Gaia to promote clean fuel alternatives to charcoal for cooking in Haiti. Project Gaia provided the link between Novogaz and the US ethanol company POET to bring clean ethanol fuel to Haiti and ultimately, to produce ethanol locally. Haiti has a rich history of ethanol production from the waste by-product molasses of sugarcane. The infrastructure and raw material, as well as production know-how, exists in Haiti; Novogaz, PGI, POET and partners are working to revive the industry in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Initial work shows ethanol to be cost competitive with LPG, kerosene, and charcoal.
Novogaz is working with Dometic, a Swedish manufacturer of ethanol cookstoves, on an affordable suite of CleanCook stoves, which will fit the needs of the local market and can be assembled and made locally. Ethanol stoves are modern stoves, which save women time, and many customers cite this as a reason to switch to bioethanol. The CleanCook stove burns ethanol, a clean liquid fuel, so has very low emissions. The first rollout of ethanol stoves and fuel is currently underway in Haiti.
Novogaz works with its distributors and retailers as well as a women-led salesforce to provide training and cooking demonstrations. This new clean stove and fuel value chain offers the opportunity to create jobs, something desperately needed in a country with over 80% unemployment. The ethanol stove is ideally suited for Haitian meals, which require high heat as well as simmering. The portable and durable CleanCook stove can be used inside year-round, which is important, especially during the rainy season. Novogaz is distributing ethanol in varying quantities, which makes it affordable for families purchasing fuel on a daily and monthly basis. Five liters of fuel can last a family 10-12 days, which means they don’t have to carry a 25kg bag of charcoal home every two weeks.
Novogaz is pleased to have been selected as a Pilot Innovation Fund winner for 2015 and will work with the Alliance to continue its efforts and support of clean fuels. Haiti is over 98% deforested and the time is now to help spur new markets for clean fuels and stoves, which can reduce Haiti’s dependence on woodfuel and charcoal. With the World Health Organization (WHO), health professionals, and the Alliance speaking out for clean fuels to combat household air pollution, Novogaz is ready to heed the call and to prove the economic viability of modern cookstoves and fuels in Haiti.