Prefeasibility Study for Biomass Power Plant, Namibia: Biomass supply chain assessment

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The target of this section is to calculate the biomass provision costs for the biomass supply of a 5 MWel biomass power plant at Otjiwarongo and different 20 MWel power plants with bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) boiler or grate boiler at Ohorongo Cement and at Otjikoto Substation. The supply chain incorporates Harvesting, Handling, Storage and Transport components. A current study based at the University of Stuttgart investigating the harvesting of short rotation coppice and forest residues highlights two harvesting methods as being the most promising. These are: Cutter chipper - Harvesting and chipping happens in one step, resulting in need for only one calculation. This method was proposed as being the best feasible option in previous studies by Christians and Associates (2010). Cutter collector - The cutter collector is carried by a tractor or a skid steer. The cutter collector could have a beneficial effect for the harvest of small field sizes and marginal sites. It is not as heavy as a cutter chipper and the farmer can use his own tractor and is more flexible. This method is similar to the rotary saw mounted on a skid steer described as the best option for harvesting in Leinonen (2007). In an attempt to ensure that the project results in maximum socio-economic benefits a third option is included in the Prefeasibility Study: Motor Manual Harvest: The motor manual harvest is done by a chain saw. The trunks are moved to the field side for direct chipping by a mobile chipper or storage by a tractor. The mobile chipper can chip the trees up to a diameter of 27cm. Prior to assessing the financial and technical performance of each supply chain scenario, the broader supply chain context is briefly reviewed.

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