Utilising local timber and forestry offcuts to generate power for on-site use, avoiding the use of fossil fuel derived power and additional methane and carbon dioxide emissions from the decay of the biomass in open air.
In Viñales, a sawmill, biomass power boiler and 41 MW condensing/ extracting generator unit using local organic waste are operated in conjunction to cogenerate electricity and heat. Without the cogeneration plant, biomass from the mills, such as sawdust pictured above, and offcuts from forestry operations, would have been left to decay or burn in an unsupervised open environment, emitting carbon dioxide and methane.
Now, both heat and power generated by the plant is directed back into the sawmill, making it entirely self-sufficient. This prevents the Viñales sawmill from having the procure either from external companies, as it did previously, or install a traditional low pressure boiler onsite. Excess electricity is exported onto the local grid. The project’s developers are optimistic that Viñales is a good example of the viability of renewable electricity generation as a source of revenue to both the wood processing and forestry industries.
Pictured to the right and above are piles of sawdust ready to be transported into the biomass boiler.
Project area and its threats
The project is located in Chile’s central belt. Its nearest city is Constitución, located 3 KM away.
The primary project developer is Celulosa Arauco y Constitución S.A, although the owner and administrator is Aserraderos Arauco S.A., the sawmill division of Celulosa Arauco S.A. Both of these are based in Chile. Arauco is a global manufacturer of forest products.
- 2,580,929 tCO2e avoided over 10 crediting years, beginning in 2014
- avoided methane and carbon dioxide emissions from the decay of biomass in open air
- renewal of the crediting period will result in a total of 30 years of self-sustaining electricity generation