C-Quest Capital Launches Malawian Joint Venture to Supply the Household Energy Market

Washington, DC – To diversify away from carbon dependency in a collapsed carbon market and to serve the largest energy market in Malawi, C-Quest is launching TLC Green with Malawian and USA partners.  The venture will market clean high efficiency cook-stoves and matching wood fuels from sustainable sources into urban Malawi, beginning with Lilongwe. Operations will begin July first. CQC’s African partner is Total LandCare, a sustainable natural resource management & conservation NGO established in 1999 by Trent Bunderson and Zwide Jere. The US partner is Renewable Energy Solutions of Washington State, USA established by Ben Henson.

 The partners have a shared vision of replacing charcoal use in urban households with direct burning of specially tailored wood fuels in modern high efficiency wood stoves.  Much charcoal production in Malawi is illegal and terribly inefficient, contributing significantly to deforestation and land degradation. It takes 6 tons of wood to make one tone of charcoal. As urban consumers switch to charcoal, they unwittingly accelerate deforestation and land degradation in a vicious downward spiral resulting in loss of agricultural productivity and rural-urban migration.

 Zwide Jere, President of TLC Green said “The average Malawian household spends 30% of their income on fuel for cooking.  So this is an exciting opportunity to meet the household and business need for more efficient cook stoves and to provide lower cost cooking fuels from sustainably managed and harvested forests.”  Jere said that “TLC Green is providing an alternative to expensive and environmentally destructive charcoal for urban consumers”.

 Two cook stoves will be available – the EZY Stove and the ACE Stove.  The company will also be marketing wood fuel products for the high-efficiency stoves in the form of clean bagged wood chips, and split wood bundles sourced from selected forest operations.   A densified product is in development.

 The company is targeting a 50% reduction in household cooking costs and a superior cooking experience for households switching from charcoal on traditional stoves to its wood fuels on the latest high efficiency fast wood stoves.

Ken Newcombe, CEO of C-Quest Capital said “ this is a logical extension of our “Transformation Carbon” business in Malawi which has been focused to date on providing an efficient locally made stove to replace open fires in rural households. That business is entirely driven by carbon revenues under our Malawi/Mozambique Program of Activities”

“The state of the global carbon market severely constrains the growth and profitability of “for-carbon-only” businesses. By entering the household energy market with TLC Green, we can continue our work of transforming the lives of the poorest people without reliance on carbon market recovery for growth” said Eduardo Ferreira, VP and Head of Global Stoves Business for C-Quest Capital.