The biomass fuel project of Zhanjiang Sovren Biomass Co, the largest one of its kind in the country, came into operation in Baisha town of Leizhou on Dec 3 with an anticipated annual output of 100,000 tons.

Invested by Sovran Environment & Energy Corp, the plant hired an entrepreneurial team comprised of returned students from the United Kingdom and Australia as well as postgraduates and PhDs from China's well-known universities.

They renovated an obsolete plant and upgraded its existing facilities to reduce the cost. The initial investment would have been four times more had the company chosen to build a new plant, according to project head Chen Zhaojie.

The biomass fuel produced by Zhanjiang Sovren Biomass Co. [Photo/Zhanjiang Cloud Media]

Forestry and agricultural residues such as bagasse from sugar refineries, wood chip from timber mills and straw from paddy fields, were processed into biomass fuel after being smashed, dried, compressed and molded. The final products will be shipped to biomass power plants in Guangdong, Hainan, South Korean and Belgium.

Most of the coal-fired boilers in the country have gone through transformation and upgrades and are using clean energy like natural gas or biomass fuel. The launch of the project will greatly ease the supply shortage, for there is only one biomass fuel plant in Tangshan of Hebei province on a par with it in output value.

Meanwhile, Zhanjiang is a big city in agriculture. The project will not only help it reduce the environmental pollution caused by crop straw burning but also create jobs for local laid-off workers and increase their income.

According to Chen, Sovren plans to bring the annual output value to one million tons by means of transformation, purchasing or building new plants during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020). Large investment companies are getting in touch with the company to provide financial support for its expansion to the next stage.