Pellet and briquette producers from the Republic of Moldova are accessing new markets due to the quality certificates issued by the only accredited laboratory in the country, that tests physical and chemical parameters of the biofuel.
The Solid Biofuel Laboratory of the Agrarian University was accredited one year ago thanks to the modern equipment in value of 100,000 EUR received from the European Union, in the framework of the Moldova Energy and Biomass Project. The laboratory provides tests of high and low calorific value, humidity content, ash and volatile materials, density, mechanical resistance and chemical content.
“The quality of biofuel is a key condition for the further development of a successful biomass energy market in Moldova. The EU-funded Moldova Energy and Biomass project has put in place all the conditions to ensure that high quality biofuel is available in the Republic of Moldova”, statedAlexandre Darras, Attaché, Project manager, European Union Delegation to the Republic of Moldova.
Producers have the possibility to test biofuel parameters and compete not only for price, but also for quality. At the same time, public authorities also demand the results of quality tests in public bidding to be sure of the quality of the purchased biofuel.
“The laboratory provides both physical and chemical testing of biofuels. Based on laboratory tests, we can recommend to the producers the optimal mixture of raw material to ensure maximum calorific value at an affordable price”, noted Grigore Marian, Director of Solid Biofuel Laboratory of the Agrarian University of Moldova.
The number of beneficiaries who use solid biofuel as heating agent is growing continuously. Currently, over 200 kindergartens, schools and community centres in the country have installed biomass heating systems with the European funds of Energy and Biomass Project. Moreover, 1,000 families are heating their houses with green energy also thanks to the European Union’s support. Annually, only the beneficiaries of the Energy and Biomass Project request a minimum quantity of 30,000 tons of biofuel. The increasing demand has led to an increase in the number of briquettes and pellets producers, reaching almost 100 business entities.
“Biofuel producers can access new markets with proven by laboratory testing quality. Without it, it is difficult to enter the European market with rigid quality requirements. Laboratory tests also help consumers buy biofuel according to their boiler type and benefit from increased efficiency in its use”, said Sergiu Robu, National Consultant of the Energy and Biomass Project.
Nicolae Dragan, owner of a briquettes & pellets factory, said that laboratory tests helped him improve biofuel, ensuring, thus, the satisfaction of buyers and increasing sales. “Previously we exported biofuel to some EU states and we were forced to apply for certification abroad. Now, we have the laboratory in Chisinau, where we can obtain quality certificates much easier from the point of view of logistics and affordability”.
The biofuel’s quality requirements were aligned with the European Union’s requirements in 2012, when Moldova adopted 37 national standards for solid biofuel’s quality and the Regulation on solid biofuel, which stipulates its certification. Hence, the biofuel delivered to consumers is labelled with the description of its key parameters, such as humidity, ash, net calorific value, density, chemical content, etc.
Moldova Energy and Biomass Project, phase II, is a three-year project implemented during 2015-2017.The total budget of the Project is 9.41 million Euro funded by the European Union and is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. It is a continuation of Project’s Phase I implemented in 2011-2014, with a total budget of 14.56 million Euro, funded by the European Union (14 million Euro) and UNDP (560,000 Euro). The national partner of the Energy and Biomass Project is the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure.
Video testimonial on the services provided by the Testing Laboratory is available here.