News
5 May 2021

Cooperation increases biomass opportunities in South Africa

The cooperation between Dutch and South African companies and organisations has had a demonstrably positive effect on biomass business opportunities in South Africa.

Since its formation in late 2019, the consortium ‘Partners in International Business on Solid Biomass’ has undertaken numerous physical and virtual actions to develop biomass value chains, expand the knowledge base, and raise awareness of its functions and achievements.

In 2019 six Dutch companies joined forces to introduce and market an integrated Dutch approach for the sustainable beneficiation of woody biomass residues available in South Africa. Partners for Innovation, ACE, Yilkins, Finco Fuels, CUC and Futerra Fuel are supported in the Public Private Partnership by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO and the Dutch Embassy in South Africa.

The intentions of the cooperation are to solidify sustainable, long-term business relations between Dutch and South African parties and to contribute to a sustainable change in the way solid biomass residues are being used. In addition, the consortium seeks to establish pilot projects and sustainable biomass value chains.

Despite the Covid-19 Pandemic, contracts and LoI/MoU have been established with governmental institutions, biomass suppliers and state-owned companies. There are two biomass value chains currently operational, both focusing largely on an existing pellets factory. The potential sales volume is estimated to be between €5-15 million.

Thanks to meetings, events, and publications, awareness of the potential impact of sustainable solid biomass value chains has increased. South African decision makers have, as a result, also become more familiar with the Dutch biomass network.

List of current accomplishments:

  • Acquisition of a mothballed pellet factory in Port Elizabeth
  • Formation of a joint research project between the Dutch University of Utrecht and South African Stellenbosch University
  • Establishment of a sustainable biomass knowledge platform
  • Securing of several leads from South African companies
  • Investment feasibility study on black pellet production
  • Masterclass and E-booth at virtual African Utility Week
  • Bilateral cooperation agreements between consortium partners
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