Recycled Cooking Oil Runs Engines

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? Wager made seven years ago by Kilimanjaro Environnement
? 10 metric tons will be processed as of 2016
? Most of the production on the European market

Much has been accomplished since the creation of Kilimanjaro Environnement in 2008. The company, which specialises in the collection and recycling of used cooking oil (UCO), aims to process as much as 10 metric tons by Q1 2016 (compared to 1.5 tons today). This increase in capacity of its unit in Casablanca, which has been in operation for three years, has also doubled its workforce (to reach 150 employees over the same time period).

The Kilimanjaro Environnement network, headquartered in Casablanca, already has 2,500 collection points and 8 regional offices in a number of cities (Rabat, Marrakech, Fez, Agadir, Tangier, Oujda, etc.).

Its agents crisscross the country to collect used cooking oil from catering professionals, local authorities and food manufacturers. The oils are then transported to a regional storage centre and transferred to the recovery unit, to be integrated into the processing line and turned into biodiesel.

But the company, which mainly targets CHRs (cafés, hotels and restaurants) and counts McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, la Grillardière, Newrest, Accor, Afriquia and Total among its clients, also wants to tackle households.

“A pilot operation is now being conducted in three cities: Casablanca, Khouribga and Ben Guerir” states Sheryn Ziani, Marketing and Key Accounts Manager at Kilimanjaro Environnement. With a monthly average consumption of 7 litres of oil, households represent a significant market in a metropolis like Casablanca. Maarif, 2 Mars and Sidi Maarouf are the three Casablancan neighbourhoods that are being targeted initially (55,000 households), before the operation is extended.

As well as going door to door, awareness campaigns are also carried out in the streets, schools, etc. The message is clear: the recovery of used oil not only reduces its negative effects on the environment, but also protects users’ health. Sheryn Ziani notes that a proportion of the waste oil is fed back into the informal circuit and ends up in pubs or snack bars that are unconcerned about the risks to the consumer.

“If it becomes mainstream across Morocco, this project will create 2,000 job positions over 5 years, with a fixed monthly income of between 3500 and 6500 dirhams (the equivalent of 330 to 630 euros)” proclaims Ziani. Young entrepreneurs will be encouraged to start their own project as part of a self-entrepreneurship system. For its part, Kilimanjaro will provide monitoring, training or even logistics.

But the company is thinking bigger. It has just signed a partnership agreement with the Moroccan Ministry of Environment to roll out the used cooking oils and fats recovery chain nationwide.

Negotiations are also underway with the city of Casablanca to conclude a public-private partnership (PPP), which “will contribute to structure and develop the sector, the collection, the creation of employment, while reducing CO2 emissions” points out the marketing manager. Eventually, the PPP could result in an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of 280,000 tons, or 1% of the target expressed in the commitments made by Morocco as part of the COP 21. Other advantages include: preventing the pollution of groundwater and the clogging of sewerage networks within the city.

The establishment of a processing unit (capable of processing the used cooking oil waste for the entire area of Greater Casablanca) will require an investment of about 440 million dirhams (40 million euros). As for the export potential, this amounts to more than 1 billion dirhams (110 million euros).

In addition to creating thousands of jobs, the partnership is expected to have a significant economic impact. The company, which exports most of its production to Europe, hopes to sell a large share on the local market.

Youssef Chaqor, founder and CEO of Kilimanjaro, also dreams of running the buses of Casablanca on biofuel. And the environmental benefits of such fuels are well established. Indeed, 2nd generation Biodiesel is a biodegradable, nontoxic, fuel produced from renewable resources such as recycled used cooking oils or animal fat, which do not contain any petroleum products.

It can be used to replace petrochemical diesel as an alternative fuel, or be mixed with diesel in concentrations ranging from 2% to 10% without changing the engine block.
According to Kilimanjaro’s managers, the trade must be regulated, but legislation should also be introduced to ban the dumping of highly polluting waste oils in drains. This traceability of the oil recovery circuit will combat fraud (including resale for food preparation).

Sidebar:
Eco balance sheet
The use of used cooking oil in the production of biofuel provides several advantages from an eco-balance viewpoint:
• It does not require additional cultivation
• It reduces CO2 emissions (one ton of biodiesel can reduce CO2 emissions by 2.6 tons on average)
• It diversify the sources of energy production and decreases dependency on oil producers

Aziza EL AFFAS-L’Economiste

Recycled Cooking Oil Runs Engines

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