The bioenergy production market has been developing at a rapid pace in Moldova and the components required for a smooth operation are either there already or are developing. The statistics of the Energy Efficiency Agency suggest that in early 2016 there were about 120 producers of solid biomass fuel with a total capacity of 120 000 tons, with more than 86 thousand tons for briquettes and 33.6 thousand tons for pellets. These amounts account for almost 5% of the domestic gas consumption or 42% of the coal consumption.
This industry, however, has a huge potential to develop. Today only 8% of Moldova’s biomass potential, which amounts to over 515 thousand tons of oil equivalent, is being used. The Energy and Biomass Project has laid the cornerstone for the development of the bioenergy sector in Moldova, which 6 years ago was at an embryonic stage. The growing number of institutional users of bioenergy has stimulated the appearance of biomass fuel producers. First of all, the installation of biomass boilers in about 160 public institutions and households has created demand for this new product on the Moldovan market and this is a good opportunity for the rural business. Secondly, the Energy and Biomass Project leased baling machines and briquetting and pelletizing equipment, covering the entire value chain from collection of raw material to packing.
One million Euros were allocated for this purpose, and the maximum amount that a business could get was 750 thousand MDL. The 2KR Project Implementation Unit helped procure and install 19 baling equipment sets, while the Energy Efficiency Agency (EEA) financed the procurement of 16 briquetting and pelletizing machines. The lease term was 3 years and the interest rate, fee and VAT – 0%. The lease was repaid in tranches and the first 20% tranche was paid in 5 days after the financing agreement was signed, the second 20% tranche was paid during the first year and the next two tranches, each amounting to 30% of the equipment price, had to be paid at the end of the second and, respectively, third year.
In total, the Energy and Biomass Project supported 35 biofuel startups, which created about 100 new jobs.