IMPORTANT NOTE: high risk product - direct loan to biogas company. No local partner in between to cover risks.
Issuer: SimGas Kenya Ltd.
Amount: EUR 101,200 (senior debt)
Maturity: 36 months, semi-annually and linearly amortizing
Interest rate: 6.25% p.a.
SimGas has the right to do an early repayment with a penalty fee of 1%. No early repayment is possible during the first 12 months of the loan.
This is a direct loan to a company (rather than lending to a financial institution) and therefore it is recommendable that you are careful with the amount you will invest.
- Due diligence partners:
- SimGas Business Presentation (download here)
With a loan of EUR 101,200, SimGas will provide a loan to another 150 farmers living in the Kenyan counties Muranga, Nyeri, Meru and Eldoret to enable them to each acquire a SimGas biogas system. These systems allow farmers to produce clean gas by digesting the manure of their cows. This provides huge benefits as they are no longer required to cook on open fires and breath in toxic fumes. The biogas systems also produce organic fertiliser, which can be used on their land or sold to other farmers.
With previous support from the Lendahand crowd, SimGas has signed agreements with 25 dairy cooperatives under the Muranga Creamers Union - the umbrella organisation of 35 dairy cooperatives with a member base of 45,000 farmers in the area - to set up SimGas shops on their premises. Out of the 45,000 members an estimated 15,000 sell more than enough milk to the dairy cooperatives on a daily basis to be able to afford a biogas digester. In May and June of this year, SimGas has sold 350 biogas digesters to the dairy’s member farmers. The farmers pay with milk to pay off their biogas digesters, using the existing financial systems of their trusted dairy cooperative. In turn, the dairy cooperative pays SimGas. The payment agreements with the dairy cooperatives are monitored by SimGas Kenya head office.
Next to selling more biogas digesters in cooperation with the diary cooperatives in Muranga county, SimGas will open up another 10 SimGas shops at dairy cooperatives in Nyeri county, Meru county and Eldoret county.
The 150 biogas digesters will be sold, installed and serviced by SimGas teams in Muranga, Nyeri, Meru and Eldoret.
With this loan 150 families and thus approx. 750 Kenyans are impacted. They will enjoy the benefits of cooking on clean gas and on having access to organic fertiliser. The impact is quite significant and is as follows:
- Health benefits as people do not have to cook on fossil fuels such as charcoal or wood, and thus eliminate the consumption of toxic fumes (the equivalent of 20 cigarettes per day)
- On average, people save 35-45% of their household budget, which they do not have to spend on wood fuel (Kenya Bureau of Statistics, 2015)
- Additional income of approx. EUR 270 per year as a result of using the organic fertiliser on their land (a 25-200% increase of crops) and/or selling it to other farmers nearby
- Preventing the cut down of approx. 7.42 tons of wood per year (Kenya’s forest declined from 10% to 1.7% of its total territory between 1963 and 2016)
- Preventing more than 8 tonnes of CO2-eq emission per year per household
- Saving approx. 2-4 hours per day for a family as it takes much longer to cook on firewood and clean all the pots and the kitchen as compared to using biogas. Furthermore it is no longer required to gather wood or going to the market to buy firewood or charcoal.
SimGas is a commercial biogas company that develops, sells and installs biogas digesters for rural households in East Africa. We do this because biogas digesters save lives, money, time and the climate.
SimGas has facilities in Kenya (est. 2013, 60 employees), Tanzania (est. 2011, 20 employees) and The Netherlands (est. 2009, 12 employees). The biogas systems enable rural households with livestock to use the manure from their livestock to generate clean fuel for cooking and organic fertiliser: two valuable assets to increase income whilst saving life, nature, money and time. The high quality, modular, domestic biogas systems can be installed in 2 days. To date, SimGas has provided >2,000 farmers with biogas systems.
What does SimGas drive to design, produce and install biogas systems? Worldwide, about 3 billion people use solid fuels for cooking (FAO, 2008). Every year, the smoke from open fires and traditional stoves - leading to indoor air pollution - kills about 4.3 million people (WHO, 2011). In other words, every 8 seconds, someone (mostly women and children) is dying due to inefficient use of biomass fuel. Biogas is a clean cooking fuel and thereby eliminates indoor air pollution, putting an end to one of Kenya’s top cause of death and disease.
SimGas desires to enable their customers to become more productive, independent, cost-efficient, and healthier farmers. They want to make biogas accessible not just for the lucky few, but for the worthy many. That’s precisely what the biogas systems do. By doing so, SimGas helps create healthy and safe environments for rural households while contributing to the reduction of indoor air pollution, deforestation, and carbon emissions.
SimGas’s business model is as follows; to the clients, an interest rate is charged for the loans which enable them to buy a SimGas system. The company also takes a small margin on the biogas systems itself.
Next to that, SimGas has a deal with the World Bank (Ci-Dev) that buys carbon credits, which allows SimGas to provide a discount on the systems of EUR 200 each. Thanks to selling these credits, SimGas can provide a guarantee and full service for 5 years. On average, the systems will remain functional for approx. 20 years.
More information on SimGas:
SimGas believes in empowering people by offering them graceful, reliable and sustainable tools that help to improve their lives and income positions.
SimGas takes social and environmental impact just as seriously as economic impact. We are creating impact through mass production, modularity and standardisation, combined with highly scalable business models. Our secret is the combination of local presence, great partnerships and smart investments in research and development. We measure what we do, learn from the results, and adjust our strategy accordingly. This is what makes SimGas a true trailblazer and helps us create immediate impact that lasts.
SimGas aims to be a game changer and is already the largest supplier of biogas systems in Africa. Their mission is: “By 2030 our domestic biogas products will improve the lives of 10 million people in Africa and Asia” In order to accomplish this goal, SimGas is scaling up in our home markets and in close collaboration with local partners we will ramp up sales in neighbouring countries Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Uganda.
Mirik Castro – CEO SimGas East Africa
Mirik (MSc., TU Delft) is a systems engineer in Policy Analysis and Management. He is a serial entrepreneur, having established Holland Turnaround, John’s Phone and other companies in the Netherlands, and has previously worked at Boston Consulting Group and Stork NV. As CEO of SimGas East Africa, he manages a growing team of 80 employees, including admin, sales, production, and installation crew in Tanzania and Kenya. Mirik lives with his family in Tanzania since 2011.
Oliver Kynaston – COO SimGas East Africa
Oliver (MSc., Bristol University, UK) is a physicist, researcher, patent holder, brewer, and hang glider pilot. With the belief that developing products for the off-grid market in East Africa can teach the world how to live sustainably, Oliver moved to Tanzania in 2010 to start a business in renewable energy products for households. SimGas persuaded him in 2015 to lead our operations in Tanzania and Kenya. Under his wings, a team of more than 80 is making households in East Africa (including his own) happy with biogas.
Arne Kühl – Financial Manager SimGas East Africa
Arne (MSc., Business Administration, University of Passau) recently joined the SimGas East Africa team with the motivation to support SimGas’ purpose in providing rural households with the opportunity to become more independent and to improve their living standards by offering an innovative and affordable product. With his impressive skill set and past experience as Assistant Head of Finance at HCI Capital AG, Senior Consultant in auditing and transaction services, and Head of Finance at e.ventures in Hamburg, we feel more confident than ever in realizing our mission having Arne on board!
Christina Mng'ong'o - Factory & Supply Chain Manager
Christina (Msc, Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology) joined SimGas in October 2013 as Quality officer, Hub Manager of the Tanga branch, Deputy factory Supervisor for Gesishamba Production Ltd factory. She worked her way up to become Factory- and Supply Chain manager. Christina is the youngest SimGas employee and is an expert in injection moulding- and biogas technology.
Moses Gekara – Country Manager SimGas Kenya
Moses Ogeto is a trained engineer in Computer Science and HSSE planner. He has worked for 3N International as Database/Data Entry before Joining National Bank of Kenya in the same capacity. He has worked for 14 years as Operations manager for Pressure Vessels Ltd. He joined SimGas Kenya as Country Manager in October 2013 and has since then been of tremendous value in operations and sales. Moses knows all our customers in Kenya!
- Founded SimGas Kenya Ltd., sales start in Kenya
- Start product development of Biogas Milk Chiller and Biogas Stove
- Siemens Empowering People Award Finalist
- Mirik Castro moves to Tanzania to start local production and sales
- Founded SimGas Tanzania Ltd.
- UNFCCC registered Biogas Program of Activities (PoA) for the trade of carbon credits