The company BioEx is launching a biomass trading platform that will serve as an online tool for all biomass users in Latvia – from producers and traders to heating and cogeneration companies. The company aims to bring together all major Latvian energy and forestry companies that use biomass in their operations.
After months of preparation, the first trading session was scheduled for 6 February 2023.
“The core value of the BioEx platform is the transparency of transactions, based on information exchange and an efficient pricing mechanism, namely, open auctions. Nothing ensures market efficiency like a transparent online trading platform that brings buyers and sellers together,” said Jurijs Adamovičs, co-founder of BioEx, ahead of the launch.
The total consumption of wood chips, a type of biomass, in Latvia is around eight million MWh per year, which is around 320 million euros in monetary terms.
“All biomass market players, from municipal boiler houses to pellet producers, are currently transacting and procuring in a fragmented, non-transparent market with no transparent information on supply and demand. This is a market where there is significant potential for efficiency gains, which we will be able to exploit with the BioEx solution in the future,” said Gunārs Greiža, member of the board of BioEx.
The first version of the platform will now include market participant registration, classification by qualification criteria, trading sessions, delivered biomass quality and settlement reports, a biomass energy calculator, system support, guarantee management, and other features necessary for efficient transaction management.
Minister of Economics Ilze Indriksone described the introduction of the biomass trading platform as a significant step towards the clean-up of the Latvian energy market, especially in the heating sector.
“It should be noted that a large part of the heating supply companies in Latvia are linked to municipalities, which directly serve the population of their region. The new trading platform will give these municipalities the confidence that their biomass purchases are being made as efficiently as possible,” said the Minister.
According to Labs of Latvia, the coutry has several hundred players in the biomass market, such as 62 regulated heating companies producing heat from biomass and at least as many producers that are smaller and do not meet the requirements of the regulated market but are active on the market. There are also around 50 pellet, biomass export, and other wood-based raw material producers in Latvia. An additional market is also made up of several hundred biomass producers, transporters, and biomass holders, which is virtually every forest and agricultural landowner.