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  • Forestry news from Brazil

    2010 - 01.20

    There has been some steel/forestry related news coming out of Brazil that had somehow slipped through my invest-timber net.  Forestry related news that will have some massive repercussions in the forestry investment world,  if what I have been reading comes to fruition,  which seems a cast iron  certainty( forgive the pun).

    Steel production, which has been fueled by heavy carbon based  fossil fuels such as coking coal will be based exclusively on eucalyptus grown charcoal.

    Brazilian President Lula  stated

    “We will work for the utilization of charcoal and not mineral coal”

    No ambiguity there then.

    How about:

    The proposal presented by the Ministry of Environment aims to produce the “green steel”, which uses charcoal from afforested areas, instead of coal, to produce the pig iron (steel with impurity). As a result of the Brazilian proposal, the iron and steel industries will commit to use only charcoal in their high temperature furnaces” .


    Thats seems unequivocal enough. But this is no temporary political fix to help elect a new president or keep environmentalists (which I consider myself  to be incidentally) content for a while.  This strategy will be enacted into Brazilian law. So a sizemic change as regards the use of trees to make steel.  In environmental terms,  this is great news. Plantation forestry of which I remain a huge believer in, will take the strain from the worlds insatiable hunger for steel,  yet avoid eating up the natural forests or spewing out tons of carbon to destroy the delicate ecosystem.

    Words directly from the president referring to the new law. After the Copenhagen summit talks the President said:

    “this is no longer the will of President Lula. Now, whoever is governing this country will have to comply with it”.


    And finally for good measure:

    For the steel industry, we want to adopt the green steel and stimulate the utilization of charcoal from reforestation, improvement of the energetic efficiency and use of green certification programs”.

    This is from Dr Suzan Kahn,  Brazil’s Secretary for Climate Change and Environmental Quality at the Ministry of the Environment.

    So it looks like Eucalyptus plantations will feed the Brazilian steel makers, via the charcoal supply chain,  for the foreseeable future.

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