Greenbelt Resources CEO Darren Eng recently took advantage of the new opportunities opening up between the United States and Cuba. He traveled to Havana, Cuba and while there met with several companies to discuss their exempt from embargo advanced modular technology that can produce products such as cellulosic biofuels and animal feed.
Eng met with a representative from the Center for Information Management and Energy Development (CUBAENERGIA), a company that provides, research-development and tech-innovation projects to companies across the country. In addition, he met with representatives from Cubazucar, a branch of the Cuban sugar industry. During his visit Eng says he confirmed that sustainable energy development is a high priority for many major Cuban industries, in particular sugar and food production.
“The mores of Cuban business rely heavily on trust, which can only be earned in person,” said Eng. “By meeting face-to-face, we jointly overcame the myriad challenges we experienced communicating long-distance, and we reaffirmed our mutual desire to develop projects utilizing Greenbelt technology.”
Eng says a variety of factors make Greenbelt Resources uniquely suitable for government approval in the current diplomatic milieu. He notes the company is not a consumer business; their technology converts local food/farm industry wastes into local resources such as renewable fuel, animal feed and sustainable energy; and the Greenbelt local-scale model benefits small private farmers, much like small-tractor maker Cleber LLC, the first private Cuban-American company approved in Cuba.
Several factors make Special Economic Zone of Mariel (ZED Mariel) suitable for an initial deployment of Greenbelt solutions, Eng added. The sugar industry and other food producers have a strong presence in the area while businesses in the zone need a reliable source of industrial energy and fuel. In addition, he says, the government promises an accelerated review and approval process with emphasis on sustainable development.
Greenbelt Resources CFO Joe Pivinski added, “Now that we have established key relationships, and through those relationships confirmed the unique potential Cuba represents to our company our goal is to establish alliances with appropriate financial partners and funding sources to obtain capital to pursue these opportunities.”