Romanian biomass producer wins supply deal
October 16, 2012
By Argus Media
October 16, 2012, London, UK — U.S.-owned integrated renewable energy firm AGI Capital Investment has signed a long-term agreement to supply industrial wood pellets to a major European utility.
AGI will export 140,000 t/yr of Romanian pellets from the Black Sea port of Constanta under the deal, with shipments starting in the first quarter of next year. Production at the firm's plant in Nehoiu, eastern Romania, will start next month before reaching full capacity by January.
AGI is unable to disclose the name of the utility or length of the contract, but said it will be the largest exporter of industrial wood pellets from the Black Sea basin.
AGI owns and operates a 13 hectare (130,000m²) wood processing facility, which has been in operation since 1907, and is embarking on the production of Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified industrial wood pellets and high-grade hardwood timber boards from natural growth forests in the sub-Carpathian region of Romania.
The new wood pellet plant will be the largest in Romania and the company has plans to produce more from the area's untapped resources. “In Romania the vast majority of the forest is owned by large state institutions and private funds which hold annual auctions for the harvesting rights,” AGI commercial director Maciek Stefanski said. “We are in a fortunate position as we have limited competition within our catchment area and with the fibre availability at our disposal we have the opportunity to increase production, which we will explore over the next 12 months.”
The company, with the assistance of UK consultancy firm Envirosense, secured FSC certification for the fibre and the mill after a recent audit by UK certification firm BM Trada. AGI is developing two further projects in Romania, a 20MW equivalent combined heat and power plant (CHP) and a 45MW solar power project, which is in the final stage of permitting
“Romania has an attractive and stable incentive scheme for renewable growth,” Stefanski said. “Both the pellet production plant and CHP plant is helping to regenerate the local community. The demise of the sawmill under the previous ownership had a detrimental effect on the town of Nehoiu but we have helped rejuvenate the economy and been warmly welcomed by the community.”
AGI will use handysize vessels and expects to deliver 10-12 shipments a year of 15,000t under the long-term arrangement.
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