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Plantation Energy Australia signs export deal with Mitsui

Oilfield Technology,

Plantation Energy Australia Pty Ltd Australia’s largest manufacturer and exporter of energy wood pellets, announced today the signing of a landmark four-year supply agreement with one of Japan’s largest and oldest trading companies, Mitsui & Co. Plantation Energy is backed by leading US-based global private equity firm Denham Capital.

The agreement is worth in excess of AU$ 70 million and is the largest of its kind in Japan in both volume and value. Under the terms of the agreement, Plantation Energy will manufacture and export clean renewable energy in the form of wood pellets from the first of several planned pellet manufacturing facilities operating in Albany, Western Australia.

“Plantation Energy is delighted to conclude this off-take agreement with such a strong counterparty as Mitsui. Not only does it secure the long term future of Albany production, it also provides a secondary market to Plantation Energy’s existing European business and brings the company one step closer in its plan to expand production facilities in Victoria and South Australia,” said Bob Warburton, chairman of Plantation Energy. “As Europe has been doing for many years, Asian markets are beginning to understand the cost and logistical advantages of co-firing wood pellets to meet increasing renewable energy obligation targets and we believe Plantation Energy is well positioned to meet this growing demand.”

“Mitsui believes wood pellets will play an increasing role in both Japan and the rest of Asia as companies take a portfolio approach to meeting their emission targets,” said Yukio Takebe of Mitsui. “The market for wood pellets in Japan is forecast to grow rapidly over the next five years and we are pleased to be able to turn to Australia to meet the market’s needs.”

Plantation Energy manufactures and exports clean and renewable energy in the form of energy wood pellets – using harvest residue from sustainably managed plantation forest.

The manufacturing process involves reducing and compressing the raw material into cylindrical pellets of compressed energy. The biomass fuel pellets are used for industrial power generation and can be used alongside other fossil fuels to co-fire power generation plants without modification. There is no net increase in carbon emissions when biomass pellets are used to produce energy and the source material is readily replaced as the plantations are regenerated, thereby making the pellets carbon neutral.

Wood pellets are presently used extensively in Europe, where they are burned with coal in coal-fired power stations. Global demand for pellets exceeded 12 million tonnes in 2009 and is expected to top 30 million tonnes by 2015.

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