Plantation Capital Asks "Can a tree save the world?"
01/17/2010

Probably not, but if there is one that can on its own more than any other make a difference Plantation Capital appear to have found it and as always are developing its commercial and envioronmental potential first.

Online PR News – 17-January-2010 – – Without doubt one of the fundamental reasons for rainforest destruction and the one that you hear least about is the fact rural communities living in the forests generally only have one source of income - Timber.

Trying to explain to a logger who uses the money he earns to feed his family that he should stop due to something called climate change and global warming as you can imagine is unrealistic.

Being able to offer him an alternative that can provide revenue inside 1 year and ongoing every year with harvests every 9 months whilst helping him cultivate valuable food crops in between just might make sense to him. We know that from our experience of planting tropical hardwood plantations they only provide income for the forest inhabitants we employ and their long term revenue can help stop deforestation now.

The tree we are using as well as being grown on our own plantations can be grown by local farmers and forest inhabitants and supplied to Plantation Capital on contract providing regular long term income and security from day 1.

A tree that can be planted and after only 12 months and every 9 months thereafter produces an endless source of commercially in-demand biomass for renewable energy production whilst extracting CO2 from the atmosphere ongoing without ever being cut down, also as the biomass it creates is clean burning it has a double whammy in reducing CO2 by natural storage as a fast growing canopy rich tree and producing lower emissions electricity – and at a lower cost than fossil fuels. If that sounds unbelievable there's more - it's leaves are harvested annually to produce high protein animal feeds as well as a natural addition to organic fertilisers providing clean and non-polluting nitrogen.

Whilst growing the trees roots introduce natural supplies of nitrogen into the soil and imporoves its fertility allowing food crops to be grown in between without any need for fertilisers, and outyields similar crops grown with chemical based fertilisers.

Science fiction or fact ? The tree isn’t some new genetically modified species created by NASA, but a native tree grown in South East Asia for centuries and used by farmers for generations as a source of fuel wood, animal feed and natural fertiliser. It's potential as a renewable energy biomass species was first identified by The Oxford Forestry Institute who collaborated on a research study with various organisitions culminating in a conference in 2005 - when the Sri lanka Government declared it the nations 4th Plantation crop behind Tea, Rubber and Coconut and the countries and Asia regions answer to the huge problems facing them with energy production from fossil fuels in respect of the cost and polluting carbon emissions - which we all know about.

A commercial reality ? The tree when planted on commercial agroforestry plantations can yield 12 to 15 tonnes of fuel wood alone per acre every 9 months without being cut down, as well as feedstocks and fertilisers from the waste leaves - all of which have a strong global commercial demand.

Every 750 acres of Glyricidia can generate 1 megawatt output of renewable clean tech electricity which is pre sold to the electricity grids in the countries it is grown. Bio mass is currently being imported by the EU, China and most developed countries as domestic demand cannot be met (ever)—prices range from $50 to $120 USD per tonne and growing with the worlds climate issues being highlighted in Copenhagen all experts predict an explosion in biomass demand which can mean two things.

1 - A commercial market shortfall for generations ensuring a stable commercial future for biomass

2 - Increased pressure on rainforest destruction to create Bio mass from natural forest logging. It's predicted some African countries have less than 50 years of natural forest supplies left.

Plantation Capital are not only developing their own Dendro Clean Tech Power plants having recently taken over Evergreen Energy but to ensure no pressure on natural forests 100,000 acres of renewable energy plantations to support them meaning 100 megawatts of clean electricity for Sri Lanka alone. These plantations will be a combination of their own managed and owned estates and supported by local farmers growing and supplying on contract a Public Private Partnership which will support 1000's of local families in the process providing long term financial stability for the communities and removing the financial need for them to chop down natural forests - the root of the deforestation problem. These plantations will all qualify as reforestation or aforestation projects under the current Kyoto agreement creating forest based carbon credits, and a natural lasting sustainable carbon sink.

This investment will represent a commitment of around USD$250 million in power plants and 30 to 40 million in agroforestry plantations which in between the trees will grow food crops ensuring maximum bio-diversity - again fed by this tree.

If you look hard enough nature can usually provide a solution.

Plantation Capital has gained membership of the following organisations:-

The World Energy Council (PPPP Model Global Renewable Energy Fund – USA)
Green Micro Finance Lending Fund – USA
International Fund for Agricultural Development-IFAD
(Dry Zone Livelihood Support and Partnership Prog.)
Global Village Energy Partnership
Global Water Partnership - Sweden
Sri Lanka Bio Energy Association
Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority
National Development Trust Fund
District Environment Consortium

Plantation Capital operates sustainable forestry investments and agricultural plantations in tropical countries. We offer customers teak and agarwood investments and agricultural investments (renewable energy) on our commercial plantations.