Haiti – new sources of energy revive factory

Located west of the Dominican Republic, between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Haiti was the first black republic to declare independence in 1804. However, it has suffered from a history of political and social violence and istoday considered the poorest country in the West. Recently, a magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake devastated their territory. In January 2010, this disaster, considered to be the worst in 200 years in the region, killed about 300 thousand people and left around 1 million homeless. In this context, Social Bioethanol appeared as a new alternative to rebuild communities.

Port au Prince, Haiti’s capital, was almost completely destroyed and the country’s economy, already weakened, sustained damage of 7.8 billion dollars. Sugar, the region’s main export and legacy from colonial times, had already been droppingin market value, no longer being economically viable. Another negative impact of this natural disaster was the immediate decrease in employment rates. In Dessaline, near Les Cayes, a major sugar factorywas forced to close down, laying off several of its employees.

In order to resume business and create new jobs for the affected workers, Jean Francois Hibbert, owner of the sugar factory, found in Green Social Bioethanol’s expertise the support he needed to develop studies to enable a new reality. So much so that the members of the Haitian initiative were selected for the IaDB´s 2012 IDEAS Energy Innovation Contest for the Caribbean.