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Japan’s rising biomass
imports spur term deals


Published on 11 Dec 2017
in Argus Biomass Markets


Hanwa recently signed an initial agreement with Thailand-based wood pellet producer Siam Biomass Products (SBP) to help meet increasing demand. The deal covers supply of wood pellets and wood chips through longer-term agreements to new biomass power plants in Japan and Korea. SBP supplies are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the quantity will be agreed for each individual contract.

This will build on a 10-year agreement signed last year between Hanwa and SBP to supply 60,000 t/yr of wood pellets to the Buzen Biomass Center, which is owned by Japanese power producer eREX and situated in the northern part of the island of Kyushu.

With these contracts as a foundation, the two companies plan to expand supplies to new power plants that are scheduled to come on line in Japan and Korea. The new plants due in 2018 include the 50MW dedicated IHI biomass plant in Kagoshima prefecture in Kyushu, southern Japan. The plant, owned by engineering firm IHI and local investors from Kagoshima, will use PKS and some wood pellets.

The biggest project to be commissioned in late 2019 will be Osaka-based power provider Air Water's 112MW plant in Fukushima prefecture, which will take coal and PKS.

Other projects include a 75MW biomass power plant that is being built by Japan's eRex in Buzen city in Fukuoka prefecture. It is expected to need 300,000 t/yr of wood pellets and PKS after commissioning in 2019. Biomass power provider eRex also plans a 75MW biomass plant at Ofunato in Iwate prefecture in third-quarter 2019, taking PKS, wood pellets and empty fruit bunches.

JXTG Nippon plans to commission a 75MW dedicated biomass plant in Muroran, Hokkaido prefecture in late 2019. Operations should start in 2020 requiring around 350,000 t/yr of PKS.

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