The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are a well-founded guide towards building a better future and we, at LatAm BioEnergy™ are committed to contribute to it in every way possible.
We are people taking the necessary steps to improve our community's way of life. Our focus is on re-designing how our communities run, from powering residencies, commercial properties and industries with affordable energy and lesser dependency on fossil fuels, to providing access to green and decent jobs, reducing economic and environmental costs, and enhancing the capacity of professionals that can take the knowledge further on.
Providing innovative, yet affordable, clean energy solutions to our community.
Promoting, developing and financing biomass gasification solutions.
Educating people on Climate Change to put them on a sustainable path early on.
About the United Nations sustainable development goals:
The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
My main goal and drive is to improve people’s lives.
I started soul searching for the ‘ultimate sustainable business’ while working on Wall Street amid the global financial crisis of 2008-2011. Although I was able to keep my old job by producing good consistent financial results, or maybe it was just good luck, I saw many of my friends and colleagues at other institutions suddenly forced to leave their jobs, and even the country because they had lost their working visa status.
That stuck with me. It also fueled my desire of stop being ‘just a number’ and figure out a way of creating a “bullet-proof”, “recession-proof”, “consistent”, “unique”, job solution. I did not know how to call it, but I knew what I wanted.
I created a list of things humans need regardless of economic conditions. Humans need to eat and feed their families. When the food is scarce, family grows or there is a generalized crisis, we seek to find more food and bring it back home. We presume to live in good health and search for longevity. And we want to do all of the above more efficiently, thus increasing quality of life.
Those industries in priority order: food, energy, pharmaceuticals, technology, and then everything else.
So there it was: I wanted to create a technological company that would innovate with renewable energy solutions that helped create better jobs and produce without competing with food raw materials while caring for the environment profitably. I guess the word I was looking for finally came about by itself, “sustainable”.
I founded LatAm BioEnergy™ in 2008 with the objective of developing clean, renewable energy solutions in Latin American countries. The word ‘solutions’ played a critical role as the developing world has its particular complexities. If I wanted to do something “unique” I had to do it “turn-key”. In other words, I needed to sort out the prospect needs, the technology, the financing, logistics, commissioning, training, the human barrier and ultimately optimizing the operation. To date, I strongly feel that we need to constantly loop back to those points and fine-tune them in order to maintain the competitive edge.
That's how I’ve transitioned from banking in the Dominican Republic, to Treasury on Wall Street, to become a specialized entrepreneur in this young and fast growing and changing industry.
I left the bank in 2011.
By 2013, we have had completed the first 300kWp biomass-to-electricity power plant of Latin America through the controlled gasification of olive pruning and olive press residues (biomass), located in the province of San Juan, Argentina. I had also made of it a regional lab facility for any biomass testing in the country. Governors and agro industrials alike have come and visited our site, sending their biomass for testing and analyses.
San Juan is a remote place with desert-like conditions that proved this project to withstand extreme, sometimes unprecedented, climate conditions. After figuring out technology gaps and faulty suppliers, the most difficult task of developing this project was not its price tag nor the conditioning of the biomass, meeting syngas' specification of the genset, not even tars, but human. Organizing people from different backgrounds, countries and ambitions to meet the goals efficiently have proven me to be the most complex and yet rewarding of all tasks. As a result, the olive producer was able to generate its own clean, renewable electricity with the material that was once discarded and hence, making a more competitive produce without the need of government subsidies. Since it was publicly announced, our prove of concept has been recognized in the NYSE, Oil & Gas and other publications in both the U.S. and Argentina. (See PRs)
Generally speaking, agro industrials and forestry activities can cover large extensions of land and its regional economic activity is often low with a high dependency on very limited companies. However, these agro and forestry companies generate the residue that can be efficiently converted into electricity with our proven solutions. Thus, diversifying the job matrix away from traditional sources. Furthermore, the operation and maintenance tasks required by the power plant helps the local economy as well.
Our investment positively impacts its stakeholders. It dramatically lowers the cost of producing food, improves companies’ bottom lines and opens the door to better jobs, better sources of renewable electricity and clean fuels. It improves people’s lives. It is sustainable.
That’s why I love my job.
Written in 2015