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Biofuels for export
FPV resident shipped first consignments of Sakhalin peat to consumers
The plowed black squares of the fields, as after the autumn harvest - this is how the field in the west of Sakhalin looks like from a height. In fact, from May to October, a "crop" is harvested there, which has matured on this land for millennia. Bioteks-peat (LLC Uglegorskugol) started to develop the Uglegorsky peat massif with a total area of more than one thousand hectares a year ago, having bought 100% of the shares from the previous owners. The pioneers received a development license back in 2011, carried out exploration, put reserves on the balance sheet (30 million tons) and, according to the FPV resident, for eight years "got bogged down in an investment and logistics quagmire."
“Russia is the second country in the world in terms of peat reserves after Canada, but despite the use of the mineral in many areas, the peat business in Russia is not going on. The reasons are complex logistics: the volumetric weight of peat in relation to coal is three times less, respectively, delivery costs three times more. The advantage of our project is that the distance from the seaport in Uglegorsk, where transshipment is carried out, to the production site is two kilometers. We are the only ones in the Far Eastern Federal District who ship sod peat to conventional bulk carriers. This makes it possible to use the coal infrastructure already in the port: a reloader, a conveyor complex with a ship-loading machine, and road barges. In addition, we do not boil peat, but ship it in bulk in large quantities, and by pressing in the fields we achieve an increase in the bulk weight of peat, as a result of which the transport component is sparing, ”explains Evgeny Meyer, General Director of Uglegorskugol LLC.
The company became a resident of SPV in 2019. At the same time, a South Korean company became interested in high-quality Sakhalin peat, having invested about $ 20 million in the project. We purchased ten Finnish tractors and XNUMX attachments for the production of sod peat. The technique is "sharpened" specifically for this mineral: for example, it has spark arresters that prevent combustible material from igniting.
“The most significant costs in the extraction of high-moor peat are the preparation and maintenance of the fields,” says Yevgeny Meyer. - The first step is to remove the fleece (the upper fertile layer), mixed with the remnants of vegetation. We harvest it from November to April, preliminarily clearing the fields from snow. Already in the season, preparations are underway for draining, we dig the necessary main, gross canals, then cut the field into maps of certain sizes. In parallel, the formation of the field, transverse profiling, and then directly extraction occurs. We employ about 40 people, mostly men, all of them are residents of Uglegorsk. "
According to the resident, the most significant of the preferences for the company is the reduction in payments to insurance funds from 30 to 7,6%. Reducing the income tax is still being considered in the future.
Biotex-peat has already started to fulfill the first order for the supply of 50 thousand tons of peat to Korea, the contract will be closed by the end of October. In 2021, the resident plans to increase volumes to 150 thousand tons, and in 2023 to reach the volume of 300 thousand tons per year.
In Korea, Sakhalin peat is used in animal husbandry as bedding for livestock. The material is absorbent and antiseptic. After the litter has worked on the farm, organic fertilizer for agricultural enterprises is made on its basis.
The introduction of peat bedding could solve the problem of the spread of unpleasant odors in large pig-breeding and dairy complexes in Sakhalin. Bioteks-peat has already suggested that the regional Ministry of Agriculture consider this issue. According to the resident, the farms will do this if the innovation is subsidized from the regional budget, and after mining the peat, the companies will also be able to earn money by selling it in the form of fertilizer.
The Far Eastern energy sector would also be worth a closer look at Sakhalin peat, the entrepreneur is sure. The mineral is not only environmentally friendly, but also renewable: about one mm of peat is formed on the areas of existing deposits per year. Despite the fact that the Sakhalin boiler houses traditionally use coal, and the latest trends are associated with the transition to natural gas, the Biotex-Peat project was included in the program “Strategy for the socio-economic development of the Sakhalin region for the period up to 2025”. But again, we are talking about the foreign market.
“The red line through our project is a proposal for an agreement with the governorship of the island of Hokkaido on the construction of generating facilities on peat. There are buyers in Japan who burn Sakhalin coal together with wood chips and coconut shells in different proportions, part of the same shell could be replaced with peat. Now we have received additional equipment and are already preparing a new business plan for the production of 300 thousand tons per year, and the reserves at the subsoil site are such that even if we receive one million tons annually, this will be enough for three decades, ”concludes Yevgeny Meyer ...