Octayne Green Fuels (Octayne), a Singapore-based farm-waste to energy venture, has on Wednesday announced it has successfully secured a pre-seed investment of $525,000 from Wavemaker Impact (WMi) to accelerate its mission of tapping Southeast Asia (SEA)’s vast agricultural sector for primary feedstock to create carbon-neutral fuel alternatives for energy production.

The firm said in a statement that this funding will be deployed to execute pilot projects, develop its technical product and platform, and recruit a specialized team with experience in green energy and industrial projects.

It is noted that the energy market in SEA is growing at an exceptional pace. Regional economies are also moving rapidly up the value chain.

However, the lack of funding and incentives has largely restricted the broadscale adoption of green energy tech such as solar and wind power, with coal being the largest driver for growth in Southeast Asia.

This trend is expected to continue in the near term as the region’s energy players continue to not only maintain their existing coal-plants, but also add new coal-based capacity beyond 2030.

Octayne sees an opportunity to provide this industry with a low-cost, easily scalable and carbon-neutral alternative fuel that can act as a drop-in replacement for coal, requiring minimal technical and logistical disruption.

To achieve this, the company will tap into the exceptionally large agricultural sector in the region–which currently generates over 400 million tons of post-harvest crop residue–to convert largely unutilized biowaste into a renewable and sustainable fuel source.

By raising public awareness about the need for sustainable farm waste management practices, Octayne also aims to address the growing problems associated with crop residue burning, which has seen cities in the region being blanketed with choking haze in recent years.

It is noted that sustainable fuel companies often face challenges related to the high cost of production facilities and the dominant market positions of international and state-owned oil giants in the region.

Octayne sees an opportunity to overcome this by building a decentralized, low-cost, low-footprint operational model that is easily scalable through rural geographies with poor logistical infrastructure.

The company said it will also work closely with the region’s energy giants to create a reliable supply chain model to help meet their long term sustainability goals without placing additional strain on their finances.

“Securing this funding validates Octayne’s vision to transform the energy landscape in Southeast Asia,” said Rohan Vinekar, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Octayne.

“Solving the challenges of climate change in this region requires a different and untested approach given the unique circumstances faced by policy makers,

“By tapping into resources that are freely available and underutilized, Octayne will not only create a new market paradigm but also provide farmers with a sustainable waste management outlet,” he added.

With a strategic focus on the $800 billion energy sector market in Southeast Asia, Octayne said it will adopt a tiered approach, initially targeting Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam before expanding across the region.

With a vision to achieve $100 million in revenue and mitigate 100 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the future, Octayne aims to become the leading sustainable fuel supplier in Southeast Asia over the next decade.

“Southeast Asia is home to a diverse ecosystem of farming sectors–from annual crops like rice and corn to perennial ones like sugar cane,

“Octayne’s mission to convert post-harvest crop residue into feedstock for carbon-neutral bioenergy presents an exciting illustration of a company that takes advantage of the region’s agricultural profile to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors that continue to require fuel,” said Guillem Segara, Principal at Wavemaker Impact.

“Rohan’s experience and long-standing involvement in the energy space have put him in a strong position to realize Octayne’s potential of becoming the leading waste-to-energy
player in this part of the world,

“We’re excited to lead this investment in Octayne,” he added.

Octayne offers a unique product that converts underutilized waste biomass into a low-cost and scalable drop-in replacement for coal.

By prioritizing net zero, the firm strives to eliminate coal dependency in SEA without affecting the region’s development ambitions and encouraging the adoption of alternative fuels into existing infrastructure.

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