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Arkhangelsk region to focus on Bio-energy

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Issue date: 
Friday, 12 February 2010
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Timber Procurement


Bio-energy becomes one of the innovative trends for the Arkhangelsk timber industry. Until recently wood wastes haven’t been considered as available cheap resource for byproducts. Currently the situation has changed and part of the biomass is used as alternative fuel for some boiler-houses. There are already several projects in the Arkhangelsk region that have been already realized, of them conversion of the boiler-houses to bio fuel in Onega, at Sawmill 25 (Arkhangelsk), energy saving programmes at objects of social sphere in the districts.

Today the Arkhangelsk region developed a project on Construction and reconstruction of boiler houses with them to be converted to bio fuel. The project is to be realized on concession terms. 

Presently share of imported energy resources (diesel fuel, coal, oil fuel) makes up 74.1%.  Considerable costs are spent annually for fuel purchase, whereas the region has large forest resources, wood wastes that can be used as bio-fuel for heat supply sources. 

Most of heat supply sources (83%) are small boiler-houses that mostly belong to the government. According to the Regional Forestry Department, there are annually up to 5 thousand cubic meters left from harvesting activity with only 1.6 thousand cubic meters to be further processed. All in all, the Arkhangelsk region could provide about 2.5-3 mln cubic meters of low-grade wood that can be used in bio-energy. 

Besides, up to 200 mln cubic meters of dead wood are not used on the Northern Dvina and Pinega interfluve area of 2.1 mln ha. As for some experts, these resources unavailable for timber companies could be also used in bio-fuel production for local boiler-houses. Moreover, many boiler-houses have high wear rate and low coefficient of efficiency, that’s why it is the time to solve the issue re. their reconstruction and conversion to another type of fuel.  

Beside reconstruction of small boiler-houses, the project includes construction of a heat power plant in the Leshukonskoye district, as well as construction of 7 mills for pellet production – capacity making up 35 thousand tons each. The latter is of most interest for investors as pellets are to be used not only for bio-energy purposes in the region but are to be exported to Europe where the pellet market is rapidly developing, while there is only one mill in the region that produces pellets – Sawmill 25. 

Thus, pellets are to be used at 110 reconstructed or newly-built boiler houses: 34 coal-to-energy and firewood-to-energy boilers are to be reconstructed, 26 boiler houses are to be newly-constructed, and 50 boiler houses are to be built for administrative and municipal buildings.  The project was already presented and approved by the Ministry for Regional Development of the RF.  The investment volume amounts to 5 bln RUR (about 120 mln EUR), of them 39% will be provided by the Investment Fund of the RF, 11% - by the Regional Government.  

However, there is also another project worth 500 mln RUR (12 mln EUR) that can be realized on the regional level. It includes conversion of 30 boiler-houses to bio fuel in Ustyansky, Vinogradovsky, Shenkursky, Verkhnetoemsky and Kholmogorsky districts. Arkhangelsk Regional Energy Company suggests including this project in the programme of energy efficiency of the Arkhangelsk region. 

All parties agree that the fastest development of bio-energy in the Arkhangelsk will contribute to solving a number of economic, social and ecological issues in the region. The Society for Biotechnologists of Russia confirmed its readiness to assist in realization of this project.


Extpub | by Dr. Radut