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Sweetman Renewables’ biomass plans progress in NSW

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Australian firm Sweetman Renewables said it has made progress in ensuring outgoing log supplies from sustainably managed forests and plantations for the improved utilisation of biomass for domestic and international bioenergy projects.

The company’s chairman John Halkett confirmed that, based on advice from the Forestry Corporation of New South Wales, deputy premier John Barilaro has formally approved the transfer of longer-term log supply agreements to Sweetman.

Halkett said discussions were planned to trial options for the enhanced economic harvest and utilisation of forest-sourced wood waste.

“This, at a time of heightened global urgency to reduce carbon emissions and accelerate renewable energy production, is driving interest in bioenergy projects,” said Halkett.

“At a company level, this urgency is manifested in a range of options that include the export of wood chips to Japan to support power station conversion from coal to biomass, and the use of sawmill wood waste and forest residues for the production of domestic renewable base-load energy, syngas, and biochar. All these initiatives are extremely encouraging with prospective commercial benefits.”

Sweetman Renewables now has formal arrangements with domestic and international companies related to the production of bioenergy and high-value biochar, utilising wood waste sourced from sustainable forest and plantation management operations and sawmill and timber processing activities.

“The use of this essentially residual wood waste processed as biomass will provide an economic benefit for the forest industry in Australia, generating regional jobs and economic activity,” said Halkett.

“However, most importantly, it will contribute to climate change abatement and reduce fuel loadings in forests susceptible to bushfire threats.”

Sweetman Biomass, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sweetman Renewables, recently signed a waste biomass supply agreement with a ‘leading Japanese conglomerate’. The 20-year binding agreement will secure the supply of waste biomass to help power Japan with renewable fuel.