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- African and Asia may soon become biomass pellets exporters
- Why develop biomass pellets business in Latin America
The big potential in Latin America is because their biggest extension of cultivated lands (forest and agricultural), is mostly explained when analyzing geographic conditions and favorable climate for biomass production. Actually the forest and agricultural residues are not industrially exploited, being this topic, the major favorable point. With this use of waste, the countries could cover a big part of their energy demand but could also be a big supplier of the increasing demand in BENELUX and ASIAN markets.
Chile: The long term potential for wood pellet production in Chile is large. The country produces about 40 million cubic meters of industrial round wood, and an additional 16 million cubic meters of firewood, so the sawdust and shaving potential is in theory large.
Uruguay: The country is researching about valuation of sub products of the forest industry and rise agro industry to cover the energy demand. In Uruguay, 2million additional tonnes are produced from eucalyptus plantations. The next step will be study the new technology to be used with crop residues and forestry management, as well as logistic topics related with the residues use.
Mexico and the Caribbean: Several areas in Mexico account of large availability of forest residues and sawmills. The pulp industry has been also increasing production of pulp and eucalyptus and other many possible feedstocks can provide excellent raw material to use by large pellet facilities.
Brazil: In the big giant, biomass covers 7% of its national energetic matrix, where 80% of the biomass energy is due to sugarcane bagasse. Although the closer opportunity to use briquettes and pellets is in the sugar, forest and paper industries, which can use the own residues due the best prices compared with natural gas and fuel oil (35-52 €/MWh) respectively and biomass pellet (27 €/MWh), the perspectives are in the agricultural residues and energy plantations. In 2014 the Brazilian’s environment ministry will force farmers and industries to contemplate and to management its residues. This could be a big opportunity to pellet industry.
Argentina: At this moment Argentina’s annual production is still around 50.000 tons of wood pellets, of which most is being exported. The sawmill industry in Argentina can offer enormous possibilities for the country, at the condition that some waste management is being developed. This sector produces about 2.8 million tons of waste per year (60% of the raw materials included). Lastly some companies are starting to promote biomass business in marginal areas producing pellets, biogas or syngas from residues and dedicated plantations. Several dairy farms and huge agricultural sector plenty of residues and marginal lands are just starting to consider the self-consumption and export of biomass pellets.