September 24, 2008
Mitsubishi Corporation Participates in the European Bio-Pellet Market
Tokyo, Sept 24, 2008 - (JCN Newswire) - Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) has acquired 45% of Vis Nova Trading GmbH (VNT), a German company and major player in the bio-pellet business. With this acquisition, MC hasmade a strong commitment to the European bio- pellets market, which is expected to growrapidly in the near future.
Bio-pellets are a kind of carbon neutral fuel, made from unused biomass, such as woodchips. The biomass is compressed and molded into small, cylindrical pellets. Co-firing with bio-pellets and thermal coal has proved effective in reducing CO2 emissions at coal- fired power stations. With an aim to combat global warming, the EU has committed to raising the proportion of power generated by renewable energies to 20% by 2020 (for thewhole of the EU). At present, each country generates around 5-15% of its power throughrenewable energy. The bio-pellet market has seen annual growth of around 20% over thelast few years. In 2020, the demand for bio-pellets is expected to increase from its currentsix million tons, to over 40 million tons.
VNT owns and operates a manufacturing facility that produces some 120,000 tons of the pellets per year, as well as several distribution bases in Germany. Each year VNT supplies about 180,000 tons of the pellets, mainly to electric power companies in the EU. VNT plans to build a few other factories, aiming to reach 500,000 tons in sales and establish a production system in Germany by 2010.
MC invested 5.625 million euros (equivalent to 45% of VNT shares) and intends to be
actively involved in the company's management. MC will contribute to VNT as a partner and cooperate on the planning, financing, and marketing to expand the bio-pellet business. In the future, MC hopes to see VNT develop into a benchmark supplier of bio pellets within the European market.
In addition, MC foresees potential pellet demand in Japan, and has established Forest Energy HITA Co, Ltd., and Forest Energy Kadogawa Co, Ltd., pellet manufacturers in Ooita and Miyazaki respectively, each with an yearly output of 25,000 tons. In this fashion, MC is promoting the bio-pellet business in Japan and placing VNT at the core of this business in Europe. Anticipating significant global growth in this renewable energy field, MC also plans to set up bio-pellet manufacturing plants in North America, South America, and Asia, creating a truly worldwide supply network. The company's aggressive push should prove a very positive effort to stem global warming.
Outline of the company
Company name: VIS NOVA Trading GmbH
Head office: Bremen, Germany
Share ratio: VIS NOVA GmbH 55%Mitsubishi Corporation 45%
Business: trading and manufacturing for wood pellet
Sales: 180,000 tons p.a.
Subsidiary: Holzkontor und Pelletierwerk Schwedt GmbH(HPS)
Mitsubishi Corporation (TSE: 8058; ADR: MSBHY) is Japan's largest general trading company (sogo shosha) with over 200 bases of operations in approximately 80 countries worldwide. Together with its over 500 group companies, Mitsubishi Corporation employs a multinational workforce approximately 55,000 people. The Group has long been engaged in business with customers around the world in virtually every industry, including energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, food and general merchandise. Mitsubishi Corporation's commitment to social responsibility is embodied in its corporate philosophy and demonstrated through its extensive programme of cultural, environmental and educational projects worldwide. For more information, please visit www.mitsubishicorp.com .
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