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Green Resources is embarking on a €3.5 million project to establish 4,000 ha of fuelwood plantations with 2,000 farmers and two highly efficient and methane free pyrolysis bio-carbon (charcoal) plants in Mozambique and Tanzania. Green Resources Mozambique was awarded a € 2.4 million grant from the 10th European Development Fund through the ACP-EU Energy Facility for ‘Sustainable Wood and Charcoal Production in Rural Mozambique and Tanzania’. The grant will cover 68% of the cost of the project during a two year period. The project will be implemented by Lurio Green Resources in Mozambique and Green Resources Limited in Tanzania, while Green Resources AS, the Norwegian forestry and carbon company, will co-finance the project. Green Resources is already building a pyrolysis bio-carbon plant in Uganda with support from the Nordic Climate Facility, which will become the first plant of its type in East Africa.

The project objective is to increase access to modern, affordable and sustainable energy services for rural and peri-urban poor by focusing on renewable energy solutions as well as on energy efficiency. The project is a core part of Green Resources’ Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation business. The objectives include to establish new forest plantations; reduce unsustainable extraction of biomass fuel from indigenous forests and associated GHG emissions; reduce methane gas releases associated with traditional charcoal production; raise incomes through employment opportunities and alternative livelihood creation for small scale farmers and employees at the charcoal kilns; reduce drudgery faced by women in collecting fire wood for subsistence needs; reduce levels of indoor air-pollution and associated respiratory diseases; increase households disposable income through establishment and ownership of tree plantations.

The project will facilitate 2,000 households to establish their own fuelwood plantations, planting 4,000 ha new forest. The project will be co-ordinated through a network of Tree Grower Associations (TGAs) and extension foresters from Green Resources. In order to In order to provide added incentives and to ensure that the trees are grown and managed in a sustainable way, improved charcoal stoves and solar lights will be distributed provided that certain conditions in the planting and managing of these trees are met.

The planting programme will be complimented by two modern, efficient and methane-free production pyrolysis plants each with a capacity to produce more than 7,500 tons of charcoal per year. There will be separate charcoal briquetting plants, the first of its type in Mozambique and Tanzania. In addition to supplying charcoal to the local population, Green Resources’ three charcoal plants will be the first producers of packed charcoal briquettes in their respective countries, and aim to replace imported charcoal in the high end consumer market.

The pyrolysis plants yield three times more charcoal per unit of wood than the traditional charcoal burning methods. By burning and utilising the energy in the methane gas emitted from the charcoal production process, the pyrolysis plants remove the emission of greenhouse gasses (GHG) from the charcoal production process. The raw material for the charcoal will come from sustainable plantations set up by households participating in the project as well as other sources. The households will receive solar lighting and efficient cooking stoves in order to remove the need for burning fuelwood. Charcoal will be exchanged for fuelwood from the participating households and will be sold into the market to ensure that the project becomes self financing.

Charcoal production from sustainable wood sources is a pre-requisite for reducing the deforestation in Africa. Large amount of reforestation is required to replace the unsustainable wood harvest currently taking place in natural forests, and this can most effectively take place through a combination of farmer’s woodlots and larger forest plantations. Charcoal is an integral part of the household economy for the great majority of the population, and new sources of wood supplies for charcoal production are particularly important for the poorer parts of the population.

Green Resources aims to develop two carbon projects as part of this project. The company has already received a grant from Norad to develop a PDD for methane free charcoal production in Tanzania, and does also aim to develop fuel-switch project. Green Resources also aims to develop a voluntary or CDM carbon project based around the farmers’ fuelwood plantations which will be used to fund further expansion of the fuelwood plantations. Green Resources registered the world’s first voluntary carbon project based on the VCS standard, and 100% of Green Resources’ carbon revenues are re-invested in the country where the carbon credits are generated and 10% of the revenues are invested in community projects.

The ACP-EU Energy Facility is a co-financing instrument established in 2005 in order to support projects on increasing access to sustainable and affordable energy services for the poor living in rural and peri-urban areas in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The European Commission established the ACP-EU Energy Facility within the EU Energy Initiative for Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development (EUEI). The EUEI was launched by the European Union in 2002 in order to confirm its commitment to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Green Resources is a forest plantation company with plantations and wood-processing operations in Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Sudan. It is a Norwegian company that has 18,000 ha of standing forest and has invested more than NOK 400mn (EUR 48mn) in East Africa since 1995 in forest plantations, wood products, carbon offsets and renewable energy.

Contacts

Arlito Cuco, Managing Director, Green Resources Moçambique (Arlito.Cuco@greenresources.no)

Joana Mendes Godinho, Project Co-ordinator (joana.mendes.godinho@greenresources.no)

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