Our BioEnergia unit, based in Minas Gerais, Brazil, is dedicated to sustainable forest management and charcoal production.
Aperam BioEnergia in Brazil
At Aperam BioEnergia, our focus is on the production and marketing of charcoal, wood, seedlings and seeds – all coming from the renewable eucalyptus forests of Minas Gerais.
A Responsible Performance
Our forest management is based on best practices and is recognized by the Forest Stewardship Council®’s (FSC®) certification, whose standards and principles conciliate ecological protection (flora and fauna, but also water reserves) with social benefits and economic feasibility.
Our carbonization process is realised without any extractive fuels and with extraordinary energy efficiency, reusing the heat and gases generated by incineration to dry the wood. As a result of this efficient and responsible process, all the charcoal produced is sent to the furnaces of the Aperam Brazilian steel plant, which is located in the same state, in the city of Timóteo, some 350 kilometres away.
A Positive Footprint
The charcoal produced at BioEnergia is used in our steel-making process as a natural and renewable substitute for fossil fuels (coke). This allows us to entirely eradicate the use of extractive coke and makes our steel a leader in terms of CO2 footprint (see dedicated page). The later is determined using our industry’s standard methodology, which actually does not pay tribute to the many ecological services rendered by the forest (carbon sequestration and soil enrichment, but also erosion control and shelter to the wildlife).
According to us, our forest is actually carbon positive, which means it is acting as a carbon sink. This is why our BioEnergia unit is a source of pride for our teams, who are keen to promote our products with ‘green’ labels.
Eucalypt & Water
Like any vegetation, eucalypt needs water and nutrients to survive. Studies demonstrate that it consumes the same amount of water as native forests. In line with current technological developments, our forests are made of selected cloned saplings. This has two consequences:
– They present higher biological efficiency compared to other agricultural cultivations. In other words, they produce more timber from less resources. For example, 1 thousand liters of water is needed to produce 2 kg of corn, 500 g of potatoes, 400 g of cerrado wood, and almost 2.9 kg of eucalypt wood.
– The selection process deprives these plants from the so-called pivoting roots that reach water tables. As a result, our forests rely on superficial layers of water for a fully sustainable use of local resources that does not endanger deep reserves. (On Water, see dedicated page)