Bord na Móna (BNM) will offer 15-year contracts for project developers supplying biomass, Mike Quinn, the company’s CEO, announced at the Energy in Agriculture event, Quinn said this move comes as the semi-state company aims to phase out of the generation of power from peat by 2030. It is Bord na Móna(BNM) intention through a division called BNM BioEnergy to develop a secure and competitive supply of biomass from both indigenous and international sources.
Bord na Móna BioEnergy intend to handle all of the sourcing and logistics arrangements for delivery of the biomass to the project site. ‘Most importantly, these supply contracts will be backed by BNM’s balance sheet as a commercial semi-state’. They believe it will be attractive to funding sources and should act as a key enabler when raising finance on biomass projects. There will be no floor or ceiling on the size of these contracts in terms of annual tonnage demand or duration as BNM believe the supply chain can cater for the volumes required by the smallest to the largest of projects.
He added: “We’ll be importing wood pellets and wood chip from the US and other countries until our own self-sufficient sources – like the willow plantations and fast-growing eucalyptus we’re planting on farms and on BNM land, plus the private forestry sector – come on stream over the next 10-15 years.” Last year BNM sourced over 400,000t of biomass for Edenderry power station, which allowed them to co-fire at 42% of the total fuel.
Mike Quinn said they are currently working with the ESB on a project to convert their two stations to co-fire with biomass. In 2020, ‘the three power stations will have an annual requirement of over 1.2 million tonnes. This increased usage of biomass will contribute to a significant reduction in the state’s energy-related carbon emissions going forward,” he said.