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1st December 2017

First-of-a-kind agri-energy project for Sri Lanka

Biomass investment will support renewable energy and provide smallholder farmers with an additional income stream

PIDG is to support the development of renewable biomass energy in Sri Lanka with a first-of-a-kind agri-energy project.

Investment from InfraCo Asia will help Biomass Group work with smallholder farmers to grow Gliricidia trees, which can be used for fencing their farms and also intercropped to help diversify incomes.   

The partnership will support the development of a supply chain and logistics to secure the biomass resource as well as a processing plant, which will produce pellets to be used for power production domestically or exported.

InfraCo Asia CEO Allard Nooy said: “Biomass Group adeptly balances development impact and the need for commercial viability while providing smallholder farmers with a new income stream.

“The result is a product that has the potential to help millions of people have better access to increased income and clean energy.”

As part of efforts to develop a supply chain, a new IT platform will track the production of the more than 100,000 smallholder farmers who will grow and harvest material from Gliricidia trees. The new system will enable efficient harvesting, collection, and transportation to the processing plants. 

The development of the initial pellet plants, including the engineering design and the tendering for equipment, will also be undertaken as part of the agreement. The initial target is a production capacity of 150,000 tonnes of pellets per year.

Based on the carbon sequestered in the trees, the project will be registered for forestry carbon credits which the company will be able to sell in the carbon market. 

Net proceeds will go directly into development activities for surrounding communities, with a focus on water security solutions, crop insurance for small farmers, and other training initiatives, including English language lessons.  PIDG’s Technical Assistance Facility is funding the development of a monitoring system to support this.

The Bio-Energy Association of Sri Lanka estimates that 54 million tonnes of biomass can be produced in Sri Lanka per annum, translating to up to 4,000MW of sustainable power.


Read InfraCo Asia’s press release.