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A R50 million biomass fuel pellet project has been launched at the Coega Industrial Development Zone near Port Elizabeth. This will be the fourth largest biomass fuel pellet plant.
The pellets provide a cleaner, environmentally friendly alternative to other fuels such as coal used in power stations. Wood from alien trees across the province and as far as George in the Southern Cape will be used to make the pellets. A wood "scrapyard" is also in the pipeline - those from poor communities will be paid for dead wood they bring in.
Thousands of jobs to be created The plant is expected to produce at least 20 000 tons of biomass fuel pellets per month for foreign markets. It is expected to create thousands of jobs when it starts production in July.
Willie Claassen, the EC Biomass CEO, says the Coega is a perfect place for such a big development: "If you look at the infrastructure, the road systems, the water reticulation and electricity, everything is there. And the closeness to the port. The total production of this plant will be exported to Denmark, and its bulk transport, so it need to be able to bring in a big vessel."
Biofuel is any fuel that is derived from biomass, recently living organisms or their metabolic byproducts, such as manure from cows. It is a renewable energy source, unlike other natural resources such as petroleum, coal, and nuclear fuels.
News date: 31/01/2007