Asia biomass markets powerhouse meet in Tokyo.
Since 2008, CMT’s Biomass series evolved from and into inter-regional biomass trade and supply, biomass power projects, developments in biofuels, biomass use regulations and more. The series traveled across Europe, America and Asia – from Rotterdam to Brussels to Atlanta to Seoul to Jakarta and last year to Tokyo. Pegged as the ‘Global Biomass Buyer-Supplier Meet’ it has connected over thousands of wood pellet, wood chip and agricultural biomass (e.g. Palm Oil, etc) producers & traders, power utilities, and technology providers.
Over 800 biomass power projects, generating more than 16GW, were approved in Japan by last October. Total biomass demand is projected to almost triple from present rates to 23 million tons in 2025. Wood pellet demand will jump from 500,000 tons to 9.5 million tons in 2025. The Japanese government has since then stopped the issuance of set price Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) subsidies for new application and replaced with a new tendering system.
With current state of domestic supply infrastructure as well as from Canada, USA & SEAsia – this demand growth raises concerns over biomass fuel availability and sustainability. How will the Japanese buyers strategize and ensure that “sustainability-certified” biomass are sourced on term contracts (wood pellet, wood chips, PKS) to feed this wave of massive requirement?
In South Korea, biomass sourcing competition rose as IPP and biomass conversion capacity in South Korean grew, resulting soaring imports of wood pellet. Wood pellet demand is also expected to increase, given the rise in new biomass-consuming facilities scheduled to come on line in the next few years. Imports could reach over 2 million tons this year as utilities continue to transition to a broader use of biomass. The volatile REC prices discourage buyers to engage in long-term offtake agreement. With relatively lenient sustainability criteria, this demand growth has spurred rapid growth in production capacity in Vietnam to satisfy South Korean tenders. And on a brighter note, biomass power activities are growing in Taiwan, will the domestic agricultural residues be sufficient to feed the boilers?