International forestry investment manager New Forests today released its inaugural Climate Disclosure Report, documenting the company’s application of the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations. New Forests also announced an ambitious Climate Action Plan that combines advocacy for forestry-based climate solutions with the development of robust greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting methods to support a science-based target for New Forests’ investment portfolio.
While financial institutions increasingly recognise the risks of climate change to the global economy, the use of the TCFD recommendations by investors is nascent. The report describes how New Forests integrates climate risk and opportunity analysis in its business strategy, governance, and risk management as well as in its role as an investment manager.
The report includes New Forests’ analysis of physical and transition risks to its business, building on the work of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) TCFD Preparer Forums. As a WBCSD member, New Forests endorses the effort to support informed, efficient business decision-making through climate management and disclosure.
New Forests’ CEO David Brand reflected on the company’s motivation for using TCFD: “First, as stewards of real assets we believe we have a duty to our clients to manage and disclose the climate-related risks of their investments. Second, although forests face real and rising physical risks from climate change, we also see opportunities arising from climate finance and the need to invest in climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. TCFD gives us a comprehensive framework to consider how we can be resilient in a changing world.
Brand noted, “We also want our climate efforts to be part of a broader movement that accelerates investment into natural climate solutions and the circular bioeconomy.”
New Forests’ Climate Action Plan sets the framework for its climate commitments:
- New Forests will be a climate neutral business – addressing the challenge that to date, business contributions to climate neutrality have been insufficient to meet global needs.
- New Forests will work collaboratively to ensure that forestry is recognised as a climate solution – addressing the challenge that corporate GHG accounting frameworks do not accurately capture the role of carbon removals by forests and carbon storage in durable wood products.
- New Forests will demonstrate investable pathways to transition the forestry sector from a net GHG emission source to a source of net carbon removals – addressing the challenge of shifting from the sector’s historical emissions profile from 24% of global emissions (for forestry and land use combined) to one where forestry and land use instead contribute 30% or more of all climate mitigation by 2030.
“While we are proud to ‘walk the talk’ by formally pursuing climate neutrality as a business, the true impact of our Climate Action Plan lies in collaborative engagement on forestry solutions and our ambition to demonstrate investable pathways to flip forestry and land use from being around a quarter of the global GHG emissions problem to generating a third of the solution,” explained MaryKate Bullen, Director of Sustainability and Communications for New Forests.
Bullen continued, “Reaching this objective requires real risk and opportunity analysis across the forestry sector, paired with aggressive targets. Ultimately, the outcome of our roadmap will be the pursuit of a science-based target for our investment portfolio and showing how forestry can help investors achieve their broader net zero GHG targets.”
New Forests’ Climate Disclosure Report and Climate Action Plan are available online at www.newforests.com.au/CDR2020.
Australia-based international forestry investor New Forests has agreed to purchase the Tasmanian plantations of a local subsidiary of Norwegian pulp and paper company Norske Skog. The purchase includes a net plantation area of more than 18,000 hectares of radiata pine in the south of Tasmania and an agreement for timber sales to the Boyer Mill, which continues to be operated by Norske Skog.
The purchase is made on behalf of the New Forests Australia New Zealand Forest Fund 3 (ANZFF3), a closed-end comingled forestry fund focused on sustainable timber plantations in Australia and New Zealand. Mark Rogers, New Forests’ Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand noted, “This acquisition is a good outcome for New Forests’ ANZFF3 and its investors, who are seeking a diversified exposure to the mature, professionally managed timberland markets of Australia and New Zealand. The purchase brings added geographic and market diversity to the fund, which will also benefit from a secure, long-term offtake agreement to the local mill.”
The plantations have traditionally serviced around two-thirds of the Boyer Mill supply. Through a long-term pulpwood supply agreement, ANZFF3 will supply 360,000 tonnes annually to the mill, commencing at completion of the transaction. Existing contracts related to the plantation estate, including forest harvesting and haulage, will transfer with the sale.
New Forests’ Matt Crapp is Director of Operations for ANZFF3 and will oversee the transition of the plantation management upon settlement, expected in mid-2020. Crapp explained, “New Forests has strong ties throughout the Tasmanian plantation industry and will appoint a reputable and experienced property manager to oversee day-to-day operations. We anticipate opportunities for current Norske Skog forest management staff to gain employment under the new property management arrangement.”
Crapp continued, “We also look forward to bringing the estate into the broader New Forests’ portfolio, where we emphasise long-term management strategies that seek to align financial value with improving productivity, promoting forest health and resilience, and ensuring that forest management contributes to local economic, environmental, and social objectives.”
About New Forests
New Forests is a sustainable real assets manager offering leading-edge strategies in responsible forestry with more than AUD 5.4 billion in AUM across a global portfolio of nearly 1 million hectares of forestry and conservation investments. As global demand for resources grows, there is a need to increase productivity while ensuring the conservation of the world’s remaining natural forests. New Forests seeks to create investment strategies that provide lasting solutions to this challenge. Through responsible management of forests and other real assets, we create shared benefit for investors and local communities alike. New Forests has international reach, with offices and assets in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and the US. This gives us a global perspective combined with local expertise that allows us to understand and manage our assets more effectively. To learn more, visit www.newforests.com.au.
A decade since it began, Cannington Bio Energy’s hive of activity is impressive – with volumes of waste arriving, waste being treated – and green energy being produced. If only it was as simple as all that.
In the demanding waste-to-energy industry, the Cannington site in Somerset is a place where improvements through careful fine-tuning never stop – always learning, never afraid to meet the challenges of producing biogas head-on. The contents of thousands upon thousands of food waste caddy bags are not a pretty sight, and they certainly don’t smell of roses, but this is a centre of excellence with a refreshing and very down to earth balance of science and common sense that the AD industry can learn a great deal from. From the unfortunate avalanche of unwanted post-Christmas food, discarded Mother’s Day flowers, to some of the wild variances in food waste – it pays to keep everything as balanced as possible to accentuate the gas yield.
As a site that prior to AD, grew to storing upwards of 10,000 tonnes of fruit juice and food ingredients at -14C to ambient temperatures, there presented itself a significant challenge and opportunity to fight back against an ever-increasing electricity bill that had risen to a quarter of a million pounds per annum. Since investing in an AD operation – and with an enthusiastic and determined eye for continuous improvement, there’s been no turning back.
Like almost every AD operator, Cannington is no stranger to the world of grit that prevents digesters from producing as much gas as they should. During its recent clean-out revolution – given the massive volume (60,000+ tonnes pa) of waste material that is handled at the plant near Bridgwater, it wasn’t a big surprise that in the worst case, one of its 3,000 tonnes tanks was holding a whopping 750 tones of grit (mainly plastics and metals). No self-respecting AD plant should tolerate this, yet in truth, many operators simply do not seem to know how much grit is clogging up their digesters and pumps – suppressing their performance and creating so much maintenance work downtime.
‘Using valuable energy to mix grit is not acceptable’
“As part of our site progression and expansion, we knew it was time to give our digesters an overhaul” said Paul Barrass, Cannington’s Engineering Manager.
“Using valuable energy to mix grit is not acceptable – as well as the wear and tear on pumps and ancillary equipment. You could feel the cold and hot spots on our digesters, which tell you immediately that the dead spots represent a loss of earnings!”
He continued: “A build-up of grit very much comes with the territory, but you can’t just leave it indefinitely - so in addition to looking at the types of waste we use and how best to combine them, we’ve introduced a powerful new degritter, and upgraded the pump that accompanies it to optimise our results”.
The new degritter comes in the shape of a simple hydrocyclone from Metamo Process Technology. Capable of treating 60 cubic metres per hour, it can remove up to 240-300 litres of grit from the substrate before it goes into the digesters at Cannington. Importantly, compared to other degritters, it had the small footprint required for the Somerset site.
“With no moving parts to wear out”, added Paul Barrass, “we can see already that it will reduce our maintenance costs – and working in synch with a very good pump from Landia, it deals with all the grit, bones, eggshells and such like that arrive in the food waste. We get plenty of cutlery too, which I’m sure people don’t mean to throw out, but that would be asking a bit much! With crops such as maize and sugar beet from our own land that make up around half of our feedstock, we already end up with a good quality digestate, but the Metamo degritter will make it even cleaner and better”.
The degritter needed a pump that that could provide sufficient pressure, as well as prove resilient to the tough application, which is where Landia – already with a long-standing track record at Cannington, came in. Armed with acid-proof coatings for food waste and designed for hard-to-handle mediums, the Landia chopper pump and the Metamo degritter work together seamlessly, despite the dry solids content of 18%.
Mike and Tim Roe (the pioneering father and son team who own Cannington) very wisely had the foresight to design their process for flexibility in feedstocks – and true to this day, always look for enhancement. Almost 10 years ago when the AD operation began, they installed a Landia POP-I mixer at the front end to keep solids in suspension for the main reception tank – then, for a separate feedstock holding tank, soon introduced a submersible Landia chopper pump to replace a unit from a different manufacturer that was proving ineffective in handling one of the then chosen feedstocks of corn. The Landia chopper pump immediately accelerated batch times.
From potato and arable crop farmers who then diversified into cold storage, bio energy and recycling, Cannington now has its CHPs producing a plant output of 2MW – as well as an additional 1000m3-plus of refined gas.
Income from waste and the AD-generated electricity that is sold onto the UK’s National Gird accounts for about half of Cannington’s income. Approximately 1,000kW is utilised to power the site – with around 1,000kW exported to the grid.
The site at Bridgwater has now grown to an impressive three digesters, a pasteurizer, a pre-heat tank, plus another five holding tanks – one for slurry at the back end – also discharging to lagoons. Here again, a Landia pump was called in to replace an existing unit that despite managing the 35-metre head required to make the final discharge to the digestate lagoons, would take it 24 hours - and suffer from significant wear and tear. However, the Landia MPTK chopper pump, which also has to pump 250m horizontally as well as 35m vertically, proved far more resilient – and does the same job - in just two and a half hours. This has created major benefits all the way back down the production line.
‘People we know and trust’
“We use pumps from different companies”, said Paul Barrass, “so its horses for courses. In total we now have 21 Landia pumps and mixers – including one that just keeps on working in our sump for waste orange juice, which would soon prove too much for many pumps because of the low pH. We’ve always worked closely with Landia to fine-tune our processes - for example, changing to larger impellers to maximise the lifetime of the pumps. We get the fast response that we need with people we know and trust on the other end of the ‘phone – as well as readily available spare parts, which unlike some manufacturers, are at sensible prices. The Landia mixers and pumps are also very easy to service”.
Landia UK +44 (0) 1948 661 200
Södra has built the world’s first plant for commercial biomethanol, a sustainable fuel from forest biomass, at Södra’s pulp mill in Mönsterås. Over the next few days, a first pilot delivery will go to Emmelev A/S, a customer that will be using biomethanol in its biodiesel production.
Södra decided to invest in a biomethanol production facility in 2017. This initiative shows that Södra is working towards a circular economy, resource-efficiency and being fossil-fuel free.
“It is with pride that we have now started up the first commercial plant in the world for biomethanol. The transition to a bioeconomy means that all raw materials must be used efficiently. Biomethanol is produced from the crude methanol recovered from the manufacturing process at Södra’s pulp mills. It is part of the circular process that already exists in Södra’s mills, in which all parts of forest products are used for the best possible effect. With this step, we are showing the way to a fossil-free society, and it is fully in line with our own strategy for fossil-free transportation by 2030,” said Henrik Brodin, Strategic Business Development Manager at Södra.
The investment is also broadening Södra’s product portfolio with a new bioproduct.
“More and more people are realising why we need to switch to fossil-free alternatives. That’s why it feels so great that we can bring biomethanol to the market as a substitute for fossil methanol in the transport sector as well as a chemical base. Demand for bio-based products is favourable and we have long experience in delivering other bioproducts to the fuel and chemical industries. As we now continue to build on that, it feels particularly gratifying to have made a first pilot delivery to our customer Emmelev A/S. We are now looking forward to continuing the development of the product together with our customers,” said Viktor Odenbrink, Sales Manager at Södra Cell Bioproducts.
Emmelev A/S is a Danish family-owned agricultural company that has developed large-scale biodiesel production from local canola, but uses fossil methanol as a raw material in production.
“Biodiesel will play a key role in the transition to a fossil-free Denmark and we are very happy that Swedish biomethanol will now be used in production. Our biodiesel will be 100% renewable and based on locally sourced raw materials. Biodiesel produced from Danish canola and Swedish forests can secure fuel supplies for heavy road transport, as well as buses and construction machinery. This will be crucial for a transformation of the energy sector. We emphasise local and regional production and consider Sweden part of our local area, and we have good relationships with Swedish companies. It therefore feels natural to be entering into an agreement with Södra,” said Morten Simonsen, co-owner of Emmelev A/S.
Founded in 1938, Södra is Sweden’s largest forest-owner association, with 52,000 forest owners as its members. We conduct modern and responsible forestry, and operate state-of-the-art mills in which we process our raw material. In 2019, net sales amounted to SEK 23 billion and employees totalled 3,100. Through value-generating relationships and a long-term approach, Södra shows the way for the next generation of forestry.
Geminor is commencing export of Finish CCA waste wood to German energy recovery plants. – The German import is a result of market changes within Northern Europe, says Geminor’s country manager in Finland, Ismo Hiltunen.
Over the coming three years, Geminor is committed to deliver 20 000 tonnes of CCA/A4 contaminated waste wood from Finish industry player Demolite OY. The waste wood is destined for Waste-to-Energy plants in the Berlin area, and the first trial load arrived at the port of Lübeck in the middle of January.
The German import comes as a result of market changes and lack of recovery capacity for this type of material in Finland, says Geminor’s country manager in Finland, Ismo Hiltunen.
– Germany has installed a large energy recovery capacity for A4 contaminated waste wood, and we are pleased to establish a long term export solution for the Finish market. With the German subsidy scheme (EEG) coming to an end between 2020 and 2026, many of the energy recovery plants need to find fuel which can support a gatefee. The CCA or A4 wood fraction is a fuel that fulfills this purpose, says Hiltunen.
Incineration and material recycling
The total amount of contaminated A4 waste wood in Finland has been approximately 40 000 tons per year. Geminor will supply several German plants with contaminated A4 waste wood in 2020, while clean A1 waste wood will be exported for material recycling in the panel board industry in Scandinavia and East-Europe.
– With effective logistics we hope to fulfill the needs of the various markets and support regional waste disposal companies in a difficult market, says Geminor’s country manager in Finland, Ismo Hiltunen.
Established on Karmøy in Norway in 2004, Geminor is an international resource management company focusing on refuse-derived fuel (RDF), solid recovered fuel (SRF), recycled waste wood, hazardous waste for energy recovery and paper & cardboard, plastic and other types of waste for material recycling in the North-European market. Geminor has logistic hubs and offices in Scandinavia, Finland, the UK, Germany, Poland and France, and employs 60 professionals. The company handles more than 1.5 million tonnes of feedstock every year and holds contracts with more than 80 waste-to-energy and recycling facilities. Geminor has an annual turnover of approx.115 million Euro.
After just over seven years as President and CEO, Lars Idermark has informed the Board that he will be leaving Södra. The Board will now initiate a recruitment process for a new President and CEO.
“Now that a new Group strategy is in place for the coming years, it feels like the right time to leave Södra. I will also be turning 63 and would like time for other things in life after nearly 30 years as manager and CEO in various companies and industries. There are also private reasons for my decision,” said Lars Idermark.
Lars Idermark was appointed to Södra’s Board in 1999 but stepped down when his term of office expired in 2010. He was appointed President and CEO in December 2012 and took office in May the following year, tasked with finding a profitable direction at a time when the entire forest industry was being hit hard by recession. Idermark led the delivery of a new Group strategy that put Södra on track for one of its most successful and profitable periods.
“My time at Södra has been incredibly rewarding and interesting, with major expansion investments, restructuring, new products and innovations. Competitiveness has been strengthened in recent years and the new Group strategy contains continued extensive investments and profitable growth with a focus on sustainability and new innovations,” Idermark commented.
“I would also like to thank the Board, management, all employees and Södra’s owners for my years at Södra and wish them the best of luck and continued success moving forward,” he added.
Chairman Lena Ek will lead the recruitment process for Idermark’s successor.
“Södra’s 52,000 dedicated family forest owners, more than 3,000 employees and 1,800 contracted employees have much to thank Lars for. Södra is now a stable, profitable, sustainable and innovative company. His open and generous style of leadership has characterised the Group and created a sense of belonging and optimism. We will continue to work in the same spirit,” said Ek
Founded in 1938, Södra is Sweden’s largest forest-owner association, with 52,000 forest owners as its members. We conduct modern and responsible forestry, and operate state-of-the-art mills in which we process our raw material. In 2018, sales amounted to SEK 24 billion and employees totalled 3,100. Through value-generating relationships and a long-term approach, Södra shows the way for the next generation of forestry.
SCA has performed a new forest survey in 2019. According to the new survey, SCA’s standing timber volume is 11 million cubic metres (m3fo 1) higher than previously estimated. The survey also shows that the annual growth is 1 million cubic metres higher than the previous estimate.
“We manage our forests for the long term and for high growth, which this new survey confirms”, says CEO Ulf Larsson. “A higher standing timber volume means that our forest resource has a higher value. A higher growth gives a higher yield over the long term and also means that our forests bring an increasing contribution to combatting climate change.”
According to the new survey, SCA’s standing volume in Sweden is estimated at 249 million m3fo as of December 31, 2019. This compares with the previous survey from 2012–2013 and which indicated standing volume of 238 million m3fo at the end of 2019. Of the 11 million m3fo increase, about 6 million m3fo is related to higher than expected growth during the period between surveys (six years) and about 5 million m3fo is related to improved data measurement compared with the previous survey.
The annual gross growth in Sweden amounted to approximately 10.5 million m3fo, 1 million m3fo higher than the estimate in the previous survey of about 9.5 million m3fo. Net growth amounted to approximately 4.0 million m3fo, compared with the previously estimated net growth of about 3.0 million m3fo.
Based on the new forest survey, a new harvesting plan is being undertaken and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.
Together with 3 million m3fo of forest in the Baltic states, SCA’s total standing volume amounts to 252 million m3fo.
1 Forest cubic metres, m3fo, is a measure of the volume of wood in living trees based on the tree trunk, including bark and the tree-top, but excluding branches and needles
The core of SCA’s business is the forest, Europe’s largest private forest holding. Around this unique resource, we have built a well-developed value chain based on renewable raw material from our own and others’ forests. We offer paper for packaging and print, pulp, wood products, renewable energy, services for forest owners and efficient transport solutions. 2019 the forest products company SCA had approximately 4,000 employees and sales amounted to approximately SEK 19.6 bn (EUR 1.9 bn). SCA was founded in 1929 and has its headquarters in Sundsvall, Sweden. For more information, visit www.sca.com
The technology group Wärtsilä has been contracted to add a 10 MW/26 MWh energy storage solution to a power plant owned by Roatan Electric Company (RECO) on the Caribbean island of Roatan in Honduras. Wärtsilä’s proprietary GEMS energy management software solution will control the utility’s energy system, including earlier delivered Wärtsilä engines, and solar PV. The order was placed with Wärtsilä in December 2019.
The addition of energy storage and GEMS solution to RECO’s generation resources will provide additional flexibility to integrate renewables into the local grid and secure reliability while eliminating the need for mechanical spinning reserve. The storage system will provide virtual spinning reserve capacity needed to maintain stability of the grid - particularly important for the energy security of an island. The solution will be delivered on a fast-track basis and is expected to be operational before the end of 2020.
“We greatly appreciate Wärtsilä’s support in arranging fast delivery of this system. Electricity demand continues to increase on the island, and by integrating energy storage to our already efficient engine power plant, we will be better placed to meet this demand and ensure grid stability. The energy storage will allow the further integration of intermittent and variable solar and wind resources into the existing system. Increased grid reliability and avoiding outages is an important factor for on-going and continued island investments,” commented Project Director Steve Cromeens, affiliated with RECO.
“The system will allow more cost-effective and optimised operation of the existing thermal power plant, plus enable more renewable energy to be incorporated into the system. We anticipate that by the end of 2021, over 20 percent of the delivered island energy will come from renewable sources. This is made possible by our integrated energy storage solution using tertiary control from the GEMS software,” said Risto Paldanius, Director, Business Development, Energy Storage and Optimisation, Wärtsilä Energy Business.
The existing 28 MW plant was delivered on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by Wärtsilä in 2017. It operates on four Wärtsilä 34SG-LPG engines running on propane gas.
Wärtsilä’s total installed power capacity in Honduras is approximately 500 MW.
RECO is a progressive and visionary Caribbean utility that is constructing 12.5 MW of solar PV energy, has a 26-turbine wind farm, and a recently completed a 6-mile underwater subsea cable to expand their distribution system to two nearby islands.
International technology group ANDRITZ has received an order from a Joint Venture between Toyo Engineering Corporation and Nippon Steel Engineering Co., Ltd., Japan, to deliver a PowerFluid circulating fluidized bed boiler with a flue gas cleaning system.
The boiler will be part of a new biomass power plant to be built in Omaezaki in Shizuoka Prefecture, Honshu Island, some 200 km southwest of Tokyo, Japan, for the Omaezakikou Biomass Power Plant. Commercial operations are scheduled to begin in mid-2023.
The PowerFluid boiler to be supplied by ANDRITZ features low emissions, high efficiency and availability, as well as high fuel flexibility. It forms an essential part of a high-efficiency biomass power plant for supply of green energy to the national grid. The biomass power plant fired with wood pellets and palm kernel shells as main fuels will generate around 75 MWel of power.
This is now the seventh order in two and a half years for supply of an ANDRITZ PowerFluid circulating fluidized bed boiler to the Japanese market. This confirms ANDRITZ’s comprehensive expertise and acknowledged competence in the biomass-fired fluidized bed boiler sector. ANDRITZ is one of the leading global suppliers of power boiler technologies and systems for generating steam and electricity from renewable and fossil fuels, with a large number of very successful references worldwide.
With the global Energy from Waste (EfW market) expected to be worth US$40bn by 2023, EfWs are evolving into its own dynamic energy sector, according to a new report by the Energy Industries Council (EIC).
The market is expected to provide a breadth of supply chain activities to explore for those looking to enter or diversify into the market.
In the last few years, the EfW market has gained momentum and is demonstrating its importance in decarbonising the energy landscape.
However, the waste sector is now under more scrutiny and pressure to improve its management procedures.
EIC’s Energy from waste Insight report explores the role of Efw plants in the future global energy mix and offers a detailed analysis of the industry and projects on offer within the UK. It highlights the steps countries are publicly striving to meet such as air quality and climate change targets and the introduction of various waste taxes and rise in import bans.
Speaking at EIC’s sold out ‘Energy from Waste Showcase’ on 21 January, EIC Analyst and author of the report, Sharanya Kumaramurthy, commented: “EfW developments are starting to be viewed as a necessity for the current waste predicament now more than ever and are becoming an accepted paradigm in closing the waste management loop.
“Traditional linear waste models are no longer an excusable option to dispose of waste and countries are now actively looking to implement a circular economy strategy. Advancements in efficient technologies are expected to drive down costs, making EfW facilities more affordable across the globe.”
Additional findings include:
- A boom in opportunities in Eastern Europe is highly anticipated
- Growing demand for clean energy has resulted in an upsurge in EfW activity in the Middle East
- Rapid industrialisation and a stance against waste importation has seen a push towards EfW technology as a solution to waste problems in Asia
The UK has shown signs of a promising market for EfWs with its recent flurry of activity.
With the UK still requiring a further 7.5 million tonnes of EfW capacity, the clear need for the market has helped portray the region as a favourable environment for development. Its economic standing and waste legislations has also helped attract developers to the scene.
Despite its positive outlook, an array of challenges through the development process still needs to be addressed.