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Precision Forestry
Sep 6 • 3 min read

Simosol is proposing Forest Management Best Practices to Ensure Feedstock Availability for Bioeconom

Finland’s extensive forest resources have fostered the nation to become one of the world’s leading bioenergy producers. In the “Cultivating a Successful Bioeconomy, Starting with Biomass” session of Cleantech Forum Europe 2017 in Helsinki we went through the lessons and best practices that can be adopted in developing a bioeconomy.

Anna Repo (Researcher, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE) walked us through the building blocks of the bioeconomy strategy for Finland, highlighting the long term view of utilizing forest resources sustainably. Jussi Rasinmäki (CEO, Simosol) continued on that theme by presenting some of the methods and solutions to carry out such a strategy; to map the resources, to plan the forest management, and to monitor that the actions match what was planned.

The Cycle of Sustainable Forest Management

Mr. Jussi Rasinmäki, Simosol Oy

Mapping refers to charting the assets, forests or fields, and storing the data in a Geographical Information System (GIS). Several alternatives exist for mapping, starting with satellite image analysis and ending with full inventory on the ground. For example a satellite image survey can cover both agricultural land and forestland, as well mapping the road network if otherwise unavailable. It is essential to fully understand and map the existing infrastructure in order to see the big picture.

Planning enables one to evaluate the effects of the planned actions, e.g. the development of biomass energy plant, to the future. A large scale investment requires an extensive amount of preparation to ensure that such effort is feasible both in an economical and operational levels. For instance, on the forestry side planning include modeling the growth of trees, defining the management regime and checking the sustainability of management biologically, socially and economically.

Monitoring helps to keep track of the changes in order to to understand what is working and what is not. Monitoring includes assigning operations to be executed; who does what, where and when; monitoring that operations have been executed and, additionally, monitoring that nothing unplanned has happened.

After Jussi, Daniel Davidson (International Sales Director, Enviva) illustrated a success case for a wood chip supply chain from Southern USA implementing these steps. Alex Michine (CEO, MetGen) then took us to the inside industrial processing of woody biomass to illustrate the benefits enzymes can have in dramatically improving the efficiency of biomass processing at industrial scale. Finally Petri Vasara (Head of Biofutures, Pöyry Management Consulting) wrapped up the session in painting an alluring picture of what could be done with one of the major side flow components of chemical wood processing, lignin.

The warm thanks of all the presenters go to Carine Van Hove (Managing Director, Flanders Cleantech Association) for moderating the session.

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