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Scaling sustainability in 2023 - A year of growth and learning

15. 1. 2024

Scaling sustainability in 2023 - A year of growth and learning

  • News
  • biochar
  • CDR
  • COP28
  • Climate Change

In December 2023, the world's decision-makers met at COP28 to deliberate measures that could radically decrease greenhouse gas emissions and preserve our planet's future.

Meanwhile, MASH Makes is on a parallel journey. 

Our past year's progress mirrors these global efforts, focusing on laying the groundwork to eliminate a gigaton of carbon from the atmosphere using our innovative technology. Read on to see some of the highlights.

Operational and organisational growth

From May onwards, MASH Makes has focused on one milestone: commissioning and increasing uptime at our first commercial site in Karnataka, India. The first of four production lines arrived in May, allowing us to run the first of our newest generation of pyrolysis machines before finalising the final three machines. This approach let us implement several  enhancements in the units that arrived in September and late December, including improved manufacturing, assembly and service.

During commissioning, we confronted common challenges, ranging from faulty sensors to minor quality issues. Despite this, we have seen steady progress and a dramatic reduction in installation time for the new production lines.

On January 11th we reached the crucial milestone of running all production lines simultaneously. All major issues are resolved, and we expect to see a dramatic improvement in uptime over the coming weeks.

This bodes well for our ongoing scaling plans. We are confident that the produced pyrolysis units are of the necessary world class standard required to roll out many new production sites. These commissioning efforts have also given us new insights that add significantly to our ever-growing IP base.

Enhancing crop yields and advancing carbon sequestration research

Alongside operational growth, we also received solid results on the impact of MASH biochar on soybean crops. Our second-season trials showed that our biochar reduced drought-induced losses by over 60% and effectively doubled the crop yield. This finding, coupled with both our commercial and pilot plants passing the European Biochar Certificate biochar certification process solidifies our commitment to delivering high-quality carbon credits. It also proves that biochar can be a commodity that has value beyond carbon sequestration. 

As a founding member of the Carbon Removal India Alliance, we were also proud to support the Alliance’s first white paper on durable carbon dioxide removal in India and its launch at COP28. Due to its abundant resources and scale potential, India is one of a handful of countries that has a huge role to play in rapidly scaling carbon removals into the gigatonne range. We hope to play a leading role, along with other founders - Carbon Removal Partners, Carbonfuture, Mati Carbon and Two Ocean Strategy - in helping the CDR market evolve in India in 2024 and beyond.

We also made significant investments in biofuel research and development, which yielded promising lab results. These results are consistent with our goal to produce biofuel products that align with the existing biofuel market and adhere to its standards. We look forward to sharing these findings after full-scale validation in the immediate future. Stay tuned! 

Expanding our carbon credit collaborations

Last year, we also made significant strides in strengthening our carbon dioxide removal credit orderbook. We are grateful for the confidence and investments from entities like Supercritical, Carbonfuture, and Microsoft. Their belief in our mission has been a driving force in our progress.

We're particularly proud to announce our first agreement with Supercritical, a leading UK-based Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) marketplace. In a notable show of commitment, Supercritical prepaid for 10,000 tonnes of biochar-based CDR. It was a huge achievement to begin delivering on our credits in 2023 and we're looking forward to fulfilling our commitments in 2024. 

Building momentum on production site funding (SPVs)

Although prepayments will play an important role in driving our rollout of new sites, this will likely be in conjunction with both equity and debt instruments. Over the year, we have been building relationships with several international investors interested in funding future sites.

On the debt side, our relationship with NEFCO, the Nordic green bank, has also been instrumental in our early scale-up, providing us with essential debt capital for two production sites and solidifying our partnership. For the coming sites, we will be looking to diversify on the debt funder side, while maintaining our strong collaboration with NEFCO.

A $12.5M Series A: Strengthening our future with new partners

Some of our biggest 2023 news came when we welcomed NORDEN, a key player in the global shipping industry, as a strategic partner and investor. In July, we completed a Series A funding round in our parent company, where NORDEN acquired a minority stake in MASH Makes for $12.5 million USD.

This investment is more than financial. It's a strategic partnership that gives NORDEN secure access to renewable fuels, specifically bio-oil, at favourable pricing. Our relationship with NORDEN didn't start with this investment. We have been collaborating on the use of biofuels since 2021. Their decision was informed by an in-depth review of our technical platform and business model, which showcased the viability and scalability of our biofuel solutions.NORDEN's ambition to incorporate MASH bio-oil into its 500+ vessel fleet is a testament to our mutual commitment to a sustainable future and the tangible benefits of our partnership.

In addition to NORDEN’s investment, MASH Makes was part of consortiums that won Horizon EU projects worth €12.7M and €6.5M. The funds will speed up development and demonstration of our TwoStage gasifier across various African microgrid projects.

Scaling impact in 2024

The future is bright for MASH Makes, with a focus on sustainable, large-scale biochar deployment and a commitment to achieving a gigatonne impact. 

Next year will be about scaling our impact, developing our impact model, and establishing more operational plants to significantly increase our carbon removal capacity. We're grateful for the early movers investing in our vision, and we're committed to delivering on our promises. 

As we venture into 2024, we're committed to continuous innovation, impactful partnerships, and a steadfast focus on our mission to remove a gigaton of carbon per year by 2040. 

Want to learn more about MASH Makes? Get in touch.

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