Starting a project: Supply chain
Establishing the biomass supply chain is critical to the viability of a bioenergy project.
A sustainable biomass supply (Chapter 4) and supply chain components (Chapter 5) are discussed in Bioenergy in Australia: Status and opportunities [PDF, 9.1 MB], published by Bioenergy Australia in 2012. Guidelines for developing a sustainable biomass supply chain [PDF, 1 MB] describes a process for establishing a supply chain for producing biofuels. Published by the University of Minnesota in 2011, it breaks the supply chain down into distinct areas:
  • Identify locally occurring biomass resources that may be available for use.
  • Clarify the roles of individuals and organisations in the supply chain.
  • Examine quality control and pre-processing needs for the feedstock.
  • Think through storage aspects.
  • Evaluate the overall economics associated with collecting and delivering biomass feedstocks.
The biomass supply chain as described by the University of Wisconsin/Wisconsin Grasslands Bioenergy Network covers:
  • key issues
  • biomass markets
  • getting connected to markets
  • supply logistics
  • social issues.
Sustainable biomass supply chain for the mallee woody crop industry, published by AgriFutures Australia in 2012, provides a pre-feasibility assessment of the mallee woody crop supply chain based on a comparative assessment with the sugar supply chain.
  • Chapter 5 is an analysis of the sugarcane industry’s supply chain historically and what we can learn from it.
  • Chapter 6 is an analysis of the mallee industry’s supply chain, and many of the same points apply to other biomass types.
An example of a supply chain strategy is the 2012 Central Highlands and Wimmera Southern Mallee Supply Chain Strategy [PDF, 832 kb]. It covers the production, harvesting, processing, transport, storage and use of biomass for energy. It was produced as part of a Regional Bioenergy Project funded by the Victorian Government under the Victorian Local Sustainability Accord. Guide to starting a biofuel co-operative [PDF, 400 kb] covers each stage of planning and developing a biofuel production cooperative, including the business, legal and logistical requirements. It is published by the Canadian Co-operative Association. They also offer case studies of biofuels cooperatives. The biogas handbook: Science, production and applications published in 2013 by IEA Bioenergy provides a comprehensive and systematic guide to the development and deployment of biogas supply chains and technology.