Yes, In South Africa we have a crisis on our hands regarding the inefficiencies of electricity and the strains on our power grid.  We all know first-hand the effects this has on us as a country but also in our business operations.  So what are we doing about it?

Solar power and wind energy is an alternative but it is expensive to set up.  Generators are great but the average small business, just can’t afford the R185 000.00 to get a 50KVA generator, just to keep the lights on, and this is not to mention the cost of the diesel to keep it running.

In my search to find answers to some of these questions I came across a company worth mentioning.


The company I will be introducing you to today.

 Arterran logo

Winners of the Canada Award for Sustainable Development 2015

Finalists of Tech awards 2015 for Intel Environment Award 

Named one of 15 top smart grid companies to watch in 2015 by Smart Grid News 



I was fortunate enough to talk to David Tiessen Director of Business Development at Arterran Renewables to give us more insight about their ground breaking new product.

What is so special about Arterran Biofuel? 

This Eco-friendly company has developed a sustainable carbon neutral solution that has the same benefits as coal but without all the nasty earth damaging side effects. Independently tested by Powertech Labs, a subsidiary of BC Hydro, verified a significant increase in the energy density. Over 12,000 Btu/lb.  Arterran’s process produces biofuel pellets have an energy density of 12,200± Btu per pound or 7.83 Megawatt hours per tonne.

Arterran 12000 Btu

Arterran Renewables Solid Biofuel can replace coal as a “Drop In” alternative to thermal coal, Meaning similar energy content, size, weight, grind ability, weather resistance and chemical stability when compared to coal.

Out put graph


How does it Work?

Sustainable carbon cycle

Arterran Biofuel is a renewable solid biofuel made from cellulose.  “What we do in the simplest terms is take waste wood, manure, municipal solid waste or any other suitable source of cellulose and process it in a bioreactor for a period of time in a catalytic solution of food grade chemicals.

The result is a sustainable solid biofuel that has an increased energy density, better handling characteristics, reduced operating costs and generating better margins to name a few of the benefits.” Quote directly from Arterran’s Website


Who is behind Arterran Renewables?

Arterran Renewables run by Lloyd Davis founder and CEO who started refining Arterran process over a six years period.

Arterran has just recently won the Canada Start-up Award for Sustainable Development 2015, and in my interview with David he told me that Arterran was also awaiting the outcome of the National Canadian start up awards. They are also the Finalists of Tech awards 2015 for Intel Environment Award and Named one of 15 top smart grid companies to watch in 2015 by Smart Grid News

Arterran Renewables is the company to keep an eye out for, as they are now going into the practical application phase of their business.  In Canada Arterran will commence using their biofuel in three power plants in 2016.  So we can’t wait to see what lays ahead for Arterran.

What intrigues me regarding the Arterran Renewable team members is their passion for their product and their sincere approach to creating sustainable, renewable energy, reducing significantly the carbon foot print on our world.  It is something they truly want, and it is refreshing to see.

What does this mean for South Africa?

In my dealings with David Tiessen he advised that a South African interested party has already approached them to bring and test the product within South Africa, all I am saying is watch this space for a follow-up article in a few months.

What would happen if a revolutionary product like Arterran Biofuel made it way to South Africa? It would mean thousands of jobs opportunities, which is a massive boost for our dwindling coal and mining industry and it would turn our massive carbon boot into a respectable sandal.

Change is coming, and it looks much brighter for us South Africa.

For additional information regarding Arterran Renewables visit their website:

Additional references:

Winners of the Canada Start-up Award for Sustainable Development 2015


Tech awards

Nominees Tech awards 2015 for Intel Environment Award

Named one of 15 top smart grid companies to watch in 2015 by Smart Grid News

Sept., 30 2014 – Phasing-out coal: a healthy decision.