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OTHER BENEFITS: [Contd] Estimated emission reductions: 189,000 tonnes of CO2/year; the new combined heat and power plants (CHPs) will generate approximately 2 per cent of Estonian power and hence Estonia will reach its renewable energy target of 20 per cent.

In July 2015, the EBRD entered the third phase of its investment in AS Graanul Invest, a fast-growing Tallinn-based company primarily engaged in the production of wood pellets. In 2012 and 2014 Graanul successfully commissioned four new biomass CHP plants in Estonia and Latvia, which were partly financed by the EBRD. The new senior loan of up to €42 million is to finance part of the construction cost of two new biomass CHPs located in Imavere and Osula, Estonia.

The environmental benefits of this project are numerous. The two new CHPs will utilise residual wood, reducing the carbon footprint of residuals decomposition as there is no other commercial use for residuals. Forest restoration is another benefit, as the wood residuals will become a new source of cash flow for forestry, creating sources for investments into reforestation and replanting.

Both of the CHPs will have capacity of 10 MW electricity and 28 MW heat (the fuel input is 45 MW) and are designed to meet the relevant EU environmental standards including Best Available Techniques. The CHPs will generate heat and electricity for the pellet plants’ own needs and electricity to the grid. The renewable electricity will replace grid electricity from other sources and the corresponding amount of avoided CO2 emissions by each of the CHPs is estimated to be 50,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year, resulting in a total emission reduction of 100,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent for every year of the project.

In addition, these improvements will enable the client to become an integrated green energy supplier (excluding biofuel) to other medium-sized industrial companies.