Indonesia's forests could potentially supply South Korea with biomass energy, says Korea Assn. of Pellet chairman; South Korea imported 122,447 tons of wood pellets in 2012, is aiming to boost its renewable energy use by 20%

LOS ANGELES , September 11, 2013 () – Indonesia’s forests could potentially supply South Korea with biomass energy, said  Korea Association of Pellet Chairman Han Gyu-seong at the “Biomass Industry in Indonesia” business forum on Sept. 5, The Jakarta Post reported the following day.

The forum, which was organized by the South Korea Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, was focused on the development Indonesia’s biomass resources, particularly the prospects and challenges facing the sector.

Indonesia’s wood pellet consumption in 2013 is estimated at 500,000 tons, up 187.4% from 174,000 tons in 2012.

South Korea imported 122,447 tons of wood pellets in 2012, and is looking to boost its renewable energy use by 20%. It is actively searching for international biomass sources, and Korean firms are seeking to make investments in other Asian countries to develop wood pellets. Thus far, these investments have largely been concentrated in Malaysia and Vietnam, The Jakarta Post noted.

Indonesia offers South Korea wood pellets at a cost, including insurance and freight, of US$131 per ton, less than both Vietnam (US$ 144 per ton) and Malaysia ($141 per ton), according to data supplied by South Korea.

Association of Indonesian Forest Concessionaires (APHI) Executive Director Purwadi Soeprihanto noted that only 45% of issued industrial forest permits are active, and the many companies that hold permit have stopped operating because of losses.

The government could accelerate the pace of plantation forest development, which would help support wood pellets, by issuing new issuing new licenses for industrial plantation forests, Purwadi added.

The primary source of this article is The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sept. 6, 2013.

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