NewFire Africa files for voluntary liquidation
The majority shareholders in the clean cooking venture NewFire Africa – which include Novozymes and the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) – have decided to file for voluntary liquidation of the company.
The decision comes as the company, formerly known as CleanStar Mozambique, has continued to operate at a loss, despite a restructuring in 2013.
The company was founded in 2010 with the goal of creating an alternative to charcoal as cooking fuel for low income households in Maputo through an integrated food, energy and forest protection model that encompassed farming, processing and retail operations. It has successfully deployed more than 33,000 cook stoves and sold over a million liters of ethanol among households in Maputo. Retailing NdZILO-branded ethanol-based cooking fuel to households in the greater area of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, is the remaining activity of the company.
While the company was not able to achieve the scale and retail penetration required to make this venture viable, the shareholders continue to believe that ethanol cooking fuel is an attractive, clean and safer alternative to polluting and environmentally unsustainable charcoal for the consumer.
A liquidation process will now be initiated to close the company. During this process, the shareholders hope that retailers with local experience and wide distribution capabilities will take over the business and reach the scale and penetration necessary to successfully operate in the long-term.
IFU – Investment fund for developing countries advises and invests with Danish companies in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Investments are made on commercial terms in the form of share capital and loans to project companies, and the purpose is to promote economic and social development in the investment countries. On average, IFU contracts investments of around DKK 600m annually in 40 - 50 project companies. IFU’s head office is located in Copenhagen, and has regional offices in China, India, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Egypt. For more information, see www.ifu.dk.
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