Pictured: In Bangladesh, Akhi is trialling the ATEC biodigester.
Since launching as a social enterprise, ATEC* (of which EWB Australia is a shareholder) has reached over 1,500 households across rural Cambodia with its biodigester technology. Last year, a AU$2.35 million capital raise aimed to expand ATEC’s reach and impact to other countries, and Bangladesh is the first country to benefit.
It is estimated that some 205 million farms across Asia could benefit from a biodigester, and Bangladesh represents one of the highest potential markets in the world for biodigesters, with extensive sales and distribution support through the Infrastructure Development Company limited (IDCOL) program.
The ATEC* biodigester is a system which converts animal, green and kitchen waste into biogas and organic fertilizer, providing clean, off-grid energy and appropriate sanitation in flood prone areas of Cambodia. It has the power to cover all household cooking needs and supply 20 tonnes of organic fertiliser for crops, per year. It has also improved day-to-day household life by removing the indoor pollution and labour associated with wood fuel cooking.
ATEC has established a new business unit in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. Led by Country Director Shuvasish Bhowmick, ATEC will now begun to establish and grow ATEC’s new business operations across Bangladesh, with commercial sales set to start at the end of October 2020.
As Bangladesh emerges from its COVID-19 lockdown, ATEC* is completing further market research with partner organisations and end-users to meet stakeholders’ expectations, ahead of commencing wider spread installation. These include test installations with a number of beneficiaries.
In Bogura, Bangladesh – located in the Rajshahi Division, approximately 200 kilometers north-west of Dhaka – Akhi has been trialling the system. “We can easily complete all cooking in a day by using our two-burner gas stove and our rice cooker. We always get sufficient gas for cooking at any time. We are very happy,” said Akhi.
Biplob, also from Bogura, is impressed with the benefits that the system outputs will have on his farming. “Besides biogas for cooking, we also produce fertilizer and fuel that we can sell to other farmers. The organic fertiliser will be excellent for any crops,” said Biplob.
The ATEC* biodigester is an excellent example of how appropriate technology development has the potential to scale and positively impact thousands of remote communities.