Australian firm Sweetman Biomass (SBM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sweetman Renewables, has signed a waste biomass supply agreement with a ‘leading Japanese conglomerate’.
The 20-year binding supply agreement will secure the supply of waste biomass to help power Japan with renewable fuel. SBM will export 60,000 tonnes per annum of green woodchip to a power plant near Kitakyushu, Japan. The deal represents US $4.5 million (€3.8 million) of revenue per annum.
Sweetman Renewables has three divisions: hydrogen production, biomass supply, and high-quality timber products. Earlier this year, the company announced its intention to list on the ASX with a long-term goal of becoming one of Australia’s largest green hydrogen producers.
“Some 18 months in the planning, this a ground-breaking deal for us and one which highlights the tremendous potential of SBM as a long-term provider of alternative fuels,” said SBM director Garry Millar.
“SBM expects to sign up many more coal-to-biomass conversion projects, particularly in Japan, within the next few years. This is the first of many to come.
“Additionally, because the Japanese forward sell their power and demand certainty over stock and price, the process was very difficult, but we were able to deliver on both requirements with confidence.
“The Japanese market is switching away from nuclear and coal very quickly. Over the next five years, there will be a huge push for alternative energy sources such as biomass and hydrogen. SBM sits at the intersection of that energy conversion.”
A spokesperson for the Japanese power company said: “Our new 15 MW biomass power station near Nagasaki is one of many that we are planning to build.
“Decentralising power production into regional prefectures is part of our national strategy to make our power grid more resilient and less reliant on nuclear and coal as a fuel source.”
SBM has already secured a ‘lucrative’ long-term contract to supply waste wood biomass to Verdant Earth Technologies’ AUS $550 million (€343 million) 151 MW renewable energy power station in Warkworth, New South Wales. The facility will be the third largest baseload power station in Australia, after the Snowy Hydro scheme and Hydro Tasmania.
Millar said the biomass was being sourced from hardwood timber mills along the NSW coast and was in ‘plentiful supply’.
“The biomass we are sending to Japan is of a very high quality with high calorific value and is far superior to what is currently being supplied to them from North America and parts of Asia.
“Furthermore, there’s starting to be a worldwide shortage of quality biomass, which means companies like Sweetman are in prime position to become a global powerhouse in this international export market in the years to come.”