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Travel around India and you’ll spot Nishant Bioenergy’s earth stoves in restaurants, hostels, kitchens, corporate canteens, religious places, dhaba (roadside restaurants) and used by the makers of namkeen (Indian evening snacks) – as more and more people substitute petroleum fuels like diesel and propane for pellet stoves and burners. Operating costs benefit rural users, as Biofuel Pellets costs 35 percent less than fossil fuels, even crude oil is at lowest price.
Indian mechanical engineer Ramesh Kumar Nibhoria has worked in the biomass and thermal energy domain since the 1990s, when he established his own briquette plant near Chandigarh, North India (1995) , developing the world’s first institutional cook stove running on processed biomass briquettes – rather than subsidised liquid petroleum gas (LPG). By 1999 he had established Nishant Bioenergy as India’s pioneering company in biomass as a source of energy for low cost cooking and heating.
The Sanjah Chulha was Nishant’s original community cook stove fuelled by biomass briquettes, saving the user more than 30 percent in fuel bills. Since then, the company has developed many designs, including the popular Earth Stove, an automated pellet-fed cook stove.
They have developed more than 15 technologies within biomass processing and combustion, manufacturing pellet stoves, briquette stoves and small skid mounted fuel pellet plants – creating employment for local communities and selling eco-friendly low cost fuel to local consumers by established consumer supply chain through franchisees.
Currently, Nishant stoves are installed in 2,875 places with more than 11,000 installations expected by the end of 2018. The company is growing, developing, experimenting and modifying to ensure that, despite the lowest crude oil prices, they can be sustainable and users can replace fossil fuels with assured savings.
“The interesting part is that before 1999 this was never a business. I conceived the stove designs, established the fuel supply and stoves in kitchens and our effort has taken shape to become a fully fledged business across many countries,” Nibhoria tells us. “So we feel proud of our hard work and that so many people are working to make this a successful business, providing low cost sustainable, carbon neutral local fuel for local use.”
Now an Ashden Award winner, the engineer is currently setting up a new fabrication facility that can produce one fuel pellet plant and 300 stoves per month. He then intends to sell the complete packages to new green enterprises across India and Africa, while providing complete technical and business knowhow. The mission is to set up 100+ individual enterprises in the next five years.
“Our ultimate aim is to set up of thousands of self-sustaining enterprises across many countries using our pellet plants and selling pellets for our pellet stoves,” Nibhoria adds. “This business concept has huge replication potential. So, our story has just begun and it will go a long way.”
Editor’s update: 14 October 2016
Congratulations to Nishant Bioenergy for winning the 2016 WAF Awards.
Ramesh Nibhoria, Founder, Nishant Bioenergy