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AfriRen sets up woodchip project in Ghana

London, UK-headquartered Africa Renewables (AfriRen) is establishing a woodchip supply chain project in Ghana using old, local rubber trees.

As part of the initiative, AfriRen will utilise redundant rubber trees from the Ghana Rubber Estates (GREL) plantation, turning them into woodchips before marketing them to Europe-based utility companies and energy traders.

'The redundant rubber trees are trees that are past their prime and are no longer producing rubber sap,' explains Jamie Wynn-Williams, of Africa Renewables. 'Biomass extraction is an efficient way of recycling them. The project is fully sustainable as all trees are replaced by GREL.'

The project will see the development of a storage facility on a 12 acre plot where up to 110,000m3 of woodchips will be housed between shipments, which will begin in November 2011. A spare part store and a mechanical workshop will also be built.

The venture, which is located close to the GREL plantation and the port of Takoradi, is expected to create 70 new jobs.