South Africa’s first multimillion rand biorefinery facility is set to be launched by the Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, in Durban on Tuesday, 20 March 2018.

Funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Biorefinery Industry Development Facility (BIDF) will address the issue of biomass wastage in the country through technology.

South Africa’s pulp and paper mills currently use only 40% of a tree in its production process to address this issue the Council for Scientific and Industry Research (CSIR), in partnership with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is pioneering a new technique aimed at using the tree to its maximum potential – up to 90%.

“This is expected to produce chemicals and other high-value products that will contribute to the evolution of current mills into forest biorefineries,”the CSIR notes.

The BIDF will initially focus on the forestry sector and waste biomass, and endeavours to prevent job losses and rejuvenate growth in the sector.