Sweetman close to locking in biomass supply for hydrogen production
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Sweetman Renewables has attracted strong interest from sawmills keen to provide the company with plenty of biomass for the production of domestic renewable energy, including green hydrogen and for export.
Sweetman Renewables is in advanced negotiations with several forest and plantation owners and contractors regarding the supply of biomass from residues left behind after sawlog harvesting.
While it’s only in the very embryonic stages right now in Australia, the use of biomass to create renewable energy is actually mainstream in other countries – like Scandinavia, China and Japan.
“Negotiations with sawmill and wood processing companies to supply biomass for export for bioenergy production in Japan and for domestic renewable energy utilisation are encouraging and ongoing,” chairman John Halkett said.
“This includes supplying biomass to the Verdant Earth Technologies renewable baseload power station at Singleton, New South Wales, and also for domestic green hydrogen production.”
Sweetman plans to convert waste wood and biomass into green energy to supply the rapidly growing global hydrogen market.
Green hydrogen is the preferred alternative because it is produced using non-fossil fuel sources or renewables, which means it has net zero emissions and will fetch a premium price.
It is estimated that around 25-30 million tonnes of waste timber residues are needed to replace 25 per cent of Australia’s coal fired generators or produce 5 gigawatts of green baseload power generation using waste biomass to power generators.
Halkett said significant quantities of waste biomass could also be sourced from post-consumer industrial and residual waste streams. Currently, wood makes up about 13 per cent of the materials that become landfill.
Utilising this discarded wood reduces pressure on landfills and provides cost saving benefits to local councils.
“Waste wood residues present an exciting opportunity to expand Australia’s bioenergy sector and support increasing use of renewable fuels for baseload energy, plus remove waste wood from landfills,” Halkett said.
Sweetman will convert waste biomass into green hydrogen for domestic use using a pyrolysis thermal recovery unit. The modular unit will produce both hydrogen and biochar – a stable, carbon-rich form of charcoal used to increase soil fertility – with each unit consuming 24 tonnes of biomass residues a day.
Laboratory testing of calorific values and other technical parameters is now underway.
This will provide more precise data for both forest and plantation sourced biomass and biomass from industrial and residential waste streams, to support prospective biomass export and for domestic renewable energy and hydrogen production.
Sweetman plans to undertake an IPO to list on the ASX. The company recently completed a $2.5m pre-IPO raise.
This article was developed in collaboration with Sweetman Renewables, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.