Travelling into the region of Kakheti in east Georgia tends to bring winemaking to one\’s mind. This particular region is renowned for its vast vineyards and delicious traditional wines.
Indeed, I have been excited about vineyards as i visited Kakheti in December 2016, but is not as being a cause of wine instead a best quality biomass material.
At a smallish biomass plant while in the village of Manavi, I became impressed to observe?up-close how biofuels were produced. An untidy mass of vine shoots was sent via a briquetting device to get transformed into small neat blocks that will easily substitute to coal as well as other classic fuels.
This small enterprise is owned by Giorgi Zurabishvili and Temur Matiashvili, the local residents who consider biomass a promising income opportunity with environmental benefits.
Giorgi Zurabishvili said that replacing traditional firewood with biofuels was vital for saving Georgia\’s forests. Most families in rural areas, in the process schools and public offices, still trust in firewood for heating and, regrettably, buy it from illegal logging.
Illegal logging was one reason why behind the raised deforestation in Georgia over the last Many years.
Georgia is rich with hazelnut plantations under western culture and vineyards in the eastern regions, which provides a natural way to obtain biomass material for local production.
Giorgi and Temur made full use in this opportunity by establishing their biomass plant in the market enclosed by vineyards.
\”We collect vine shoots on the neighbouring farmers, compress them into briquettes and sell to your local supermarkets and restaurants to be a heating fuel and barbecue charcoal. Our production will work for environment and plays a role in the local economy because it keeps money circulating locally,\” Giorgi Zurabishvili said. ?
Despite these obvious benefits, starting a biomass plant wasn\’t the only thing that easy. Quite a while ago, Giorgi and Temur struggled with outdated equipment and were near abandoning the biomass.
The aid from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) came just with time to avoid wasting and perhaps expand their green business.
\”With the latest briquetting machine we\’re producing 75 tonnes excellent briquettes each month,\” Giorgi says.
Even though biomass briquettes can be a relatively new product in Georgia, Giorgi already sees a market opportunity and wishes to double production in 2017 turning his go to a profitable business.
Since 2013, UNDP and GEF were supporting three pilot biomass plants in various regions of Georgia trying to show the key benefits of biofuel, encourage local entrepreneurs and assist the country applied a national strategy and action plan on bioenergy.
700 tonnes of briquettes composed of vine shoots, sawdust and wood waste were created 2016 as well as numbers can increase to nearly 6,000 tonnes every year.
Biomass briquettes have gotten a best-selling product within the large supermarkets and will also be employed for heating schools and public buildings in a few from the rural areas.
With the supportive policies ready and growing local production, Georgia has good chances from the long term to power its municipal sector with electricity.