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Moldova has made a great leap toward more energy independence from external gas and coal suppliers. Between 2011 and 2016, the consumption of renewable energy produced in Moldova reached 13%, the biomass energy accounting for 12%.

The market of solid biomass fuels is still developing. A IDIS Viitorul and CIVIS survey suggests, however, that more than 77% of the Moldovan consumers are willing to buy and use solid biomass fuel.

The calorific value and the price of biofuel varies depending on the biomass source:

Briquettes/pellets with less than 10% moisture content Gross calorific value (Mj/kg)
Nutshell 20
Sunflower husks 19
Sawdust 18
Straw 15

In 2011 the straw bales seemed to be the main type of biofuel that could be used in the public institutions. In the meantime, however, as the bioenergy production technologies were developing, the market shifted towards briquettes and pellets, which are used with automated boilers and provide more comfort for users. Therefore, 15% of the total number of heating systems funded by the Energy and Biomass Project use straw bales, while the other 85% use briquettes and pellets.


Since there are different briquetting technologies, the briquettes look differently and have different properties. The well-known three technologies are:

Technology  Briquetting Press Machine Process Description
 nestro Nestro Mechanical piston presses A piston exerts high pressure and compresses the raw material into a tapered die.
 ruf Ruf Hydraulic piston presses The piston is driven by an electrical motor with the help of a hydraulic system using high pressure oil.
 pinikay Piny Kay Screw machine The biomass is continuously pressed through the channels of the matrix with the help of a screw transporter


The pellets can be used in high efficiency automated boilers, which need to be refilled once in a couple of days. This technology is more convenient for users and the boilers are more 1efficient. This is why and also because the production costs of pellets are higher, pellets are more expensive than briquettes.

  • The price varies depending on the type of the raw materials, the sawdust pellets being the most expensive.
  • The price difference between briquettes and pellets is determined by the investment cost and the operational costs, which are higher for pellets.
  • The pellets’ price is also higher because of the higher degree of automation compared to briquettes.

Straw Bales

The straw used as biofuel has a moisture content of about 14-20% of the initial weight and a lower heating value of about 13-15 MJ/kg, which is almost similar with the calorific value of wood or half that of the coal. To make its transportation and storage easier, the straw is baled.

  Technology Bale Description
balot_rectanghiular Cylindrical bales Height – 120 cm; diameter -150 cm; weight – approx. 244 kg; density – approx. 110 kg/m3.
balot_rectanghiular Small rectangular bales Size – 46×36 cm; length – 80 cm; weight – approx. 12-15 kg; density 90-100 kg/m3.
balot_rectanghiular_mare Big rectangular bales Size – 120×130 cm; length – 240 cm; average density – 139 kg/m3; average weight – 523 kg.

The good quality of biofuel and the use of the appropriate type of biofuel are the key prerequisites for the efficient operation of the biomass boilers.

List of Biofuel Producers

For additional information contact:

Oleg Brînza, business development officer

Tel: 022 83-99-82

Mail: oleg.brinza@undp.org