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JV to develop ‘BioEnergy Zones’ in Haiti

Haiti-based Sonamar SA and Bangalore-based VayuGrid have signed a joint venture agreement to develop agricultural zones in Haiti to produce biofuels for the country.

The BioEnergy Zones will be developed in non-arable land across Haiti to supply biodiesel, cooking briquettes, and high-protein animal feed. Sonamar has an agreement with the Energy Ministry in Haiti to develop VayuGrid’s energy crops and has access to large tracks of barren land. As the local execution partner, Sonamar will work with local communities to develop the services-based ecosystem around BioEnergy Zones.

The zones will offer social benefits such as jobs and economic opportunities for the communities servicing the BioEnergy Zones. The companies say that the financial model is sustainable without government subsidies.

"We see great benefit in developing a high yielding crop that not only produces clean energy, but will also supply the cooking fuel to significantly reduce the large scale deforestation across Haiti," said Alix Douyon, president of Sonamar SA. "The environmental benefits of building back the environment while creating the much needed jobs will be a game changer for Haiti," added Stephany M Sirius, vice president of international business development for Sonamar S.A.

"There is significant attention on how to make lasting changes in Haiti," said Douglas Peterson, CEO of VayuGrid. "We are pleased to develop this agreement with Sonamar and expect significant benefit for Haiti directly and foresee that Haiti will become a demonstrator for the region for deploying large scale and sustainable renewable energy projects."

The initial project will be for 1,000 acres and supply over 1.2 million gallons of biodiesel per year, and 15,000 tons of green coal. The project will be expanded to over 20,000 acres over the next 4 years.

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