International Bio Fuels Marketing (IBFM) has announced a partnership with Engie for the development of four wood pellet plants in Asia with construction starting this year. The joint venture begin construction of the first plant in Vietnam in September. Work on a second plant is scheduled to begin in early 2022 and the development of two additional plants in Malaysia will begin later next year. The cost of each plant is estimated to be $12 million and will take 12 months to build. Each plant will be equipped to produce 70,000 tonnes of wood pellets a year.
The pellets will be used to supply the Japanese electricity market, where the demand for wood pellets is growing rapidly. The wood will be sourced from offcuts and branches from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved plantation rubberwood, after the trunks of the tropical hardwood have been sold off for lumber and furniture manufacturing.
IBFM is a privately owned company that has a focus on the wood pellet industry. The company currently has five shareholders and is looking for new investors to come on board and invest about $1.5 million to fast-track the current project. After receiving FSC approval for its processes in 2016, IBFM has developed two plants on a consultancy basis in Vietnam in 2017.
Engie has about 160,000 employees worldwide, annual revenues of almost $100 billion, and a renewable portfolio of about 3 GW. The company recently signed a power purchase agreement with Orange to develop two solar projects in France.