South African-Dutch knowledge platform on biomass
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO has taken the initiative for a South African-Dutch knowledge platform on biomass. The goal of this platform is to share information and stimulate collaboration between Dutch and South African organizations. Governmental agencies, companies, NGO’s, project development organizations and knowledge institutes from both countries will participate in this platform. On August 11 the kickoff-meeting took place.
The knowledge-sharing platform will initially focus on sharing information with regards to European sustainability criteria. Ultimately it will seek to stimulate long-term collaboration with South-African companies and organizations for mutual commercial benefit in the biomass sector using an integrated and sustainable approach.
The knowledge platform is driven by the need to valorise biomass residues in South Africa. Invasive alien plants are estimated to cover at least 10% of land in South Africa. Many of these species have a significant environmental impact, e.g. their enormous drain on the nation’s water resources. In addition there is an abundance of unused waste streams: agricultural and forestry residues and sawdust from sawmills. There are significant opportunities for the export of beneficiated biomass to Europe. Currently, the South African market has a limited understanding of the European Union Directives, their sustainability criteria and the criteria required at a country level.
Partners in Business Biomass South Africa
The knowledge platform is closely related to the PIB consortium for valorising biomass residues in South Africa. This consortium of six Dutch companies intends to develop several value chains for solid biomass residues together with local South African communities and companies. Partners for Innovation is coordinating this consortium.