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Russia's energy giant turns to biomass

Gazprom, Russia's largest natural gas company, is switching to biomass.

The company has installed four 6MW biomass boilers at its Severoonezhsk-based 24MW plant.

Speaking about the project, David Poveda, director of Spain's Nova Energia Group, says: 'The four global boilers use wood waste with a moisture content of 50% or higher, which in many cases are completely covered in snow. Biomass was chosen as a more economical and efficient solution to the existing one, as costs are cut as the biomass is obtained at zero cost.'

The project also helps minimise the volumes of waste wood sent to landfill sites. The plant can handle a variety of wood sources, including chips, bark and sawdust, with between 30 and 50% water content.

Additionally, Gazprom has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SPPH ECO Biomass Resources of Malaysia. Under the deal, Gazprom will acquire torrefied palm leftovers for the production of renewable electricity.

SPPH ECO torrefies palm residues at its plant. In 2013, it will supply 150,000 tonnes a year to Gazprom, increasing this to 500,000 tonnes in 2015.