Bidco Africa Diversifies to Bamboo as an Energy Source

article bannner

Bidco Africa has planted 5,000 Bamboo seedlings at Ndakaini Dam to help conserve the water tower and promote the use of Bamboo as a source of renewable energy.

The initiative is part of the company’s 5 year plan to plant 1 million Bamboo in the country’s main water towers to conserve the environment.

Launched last year at Ndakaini Dam, Bidco’s “Save the Water Towers’, campaign also seeks to contract farmers to plant bamboo in the riparian areas, adjacent to the country’s main water towers.

Once matured, the farmers will harvest the Bamboo culms, which regenerate on their own, to supply Bidco to meet its need for biomass to power its Cogeneration plant at the Thika factory.

The company estimates that it will require 6,000 tons of Bamboo, a month to meet its energy needs.

“The demand for industrial biomass in Kenya is high. Companies like Bidco who are looking for sustainable solutions to meet their energy needs are creating a market for bamboo and this is an opportunity for anyone who intends to take up bamboo as a type of investment to consider seriously, ” said Vimal Shah, Bidco Chairman.

The Bidco Chairman observed that Bamboo is an elegant solution for their energy needs because it is a clean energy source that reduces carbon footprint.

Bidco, presently uses over 200 tons of macadamia and coffee husks to generate power however the supply of both is erratic and unsustainable.

Bamboo roots form a network of roots in the soil, therefore binding it and preventing soil erosion especially in steep slopes and riverbanks where soil erosion is greatest. The abundant foliage that dry and fall off create a thick humus layer that enriches the soil.

Studies done in Kenya and South­east Asia, by the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), have shown that natural bamboo forests have excellent water purification qualities, which also help improve soils. The roots help prevent the soil from being washed away by runoff water during heavy rains.


Bidco Africa is East Africa’s largest consumer goods manufacturer. Founded in 1985 by Bhimji Depar Shah and his two sons Vimal Shah and Tarun Shah, Bidco is the market leader in the edible Oils and fats categories in Kenya. Bidco Africa also manufactures Food, Beverages and Hygiene and Personal care products.