BioPlant Optimizer

Feasibility Assessment Service for Bioenergy Investments

MHG BioPlant Optimizer is a pre-feasibility analysis framework and tool for power plant investment projects based on biomass-based feedstock and use of multiple technologies and software. The differentiating factor of the analysis is the explicit operational and cash flow simulation of the operating power plant and the feedstock supply chain.

The benefit of the simulation model based analysis is the ability to have a more thorough understanding of the different factors affecting the investment and the associated risks, especially on the feedstock supply chain side, i.e. what is the amount, type and cost of feedstock available to the plant at any given point of time over the analyzed investment period?

The deliverable is comprehensive, bankable pre-feasibility report and an associated interactive web based tool as well as the GIS datasets on which the analysis and tool is built on. With the tool it is possible to analyze the sensitivity of the investment to the different parameters: both related to feedstock sourcing and the power plant investment.

The tool is configured for each case and each proposed power plant technology option. Below is a sample interface (without the map part) for a tri-generation boiler plant (electricity, heat, cold) in Indonesia:


The first section is used to analyse the feedstock availability to the suggested power plant site, and the cost of sourcing the feedstock. That section is the interface to the feedstock supply chain simulation model described below. The sections 2 to 7 are used to parameterize the power plant investment itself by describing the parameters associated to the initial investment and operational costs for the plant. These sections are constructed after discussions with the client about the technology options to be considered in the pre-feasibility study. The initial technical parameterization, which is to be validated together with the client, comes from our technology experts, whereas the client provides the initial unit cost values.

The final section shows the economic indicators for the investments given the values used in section 1 to 7:


The interface also has a map component that is used to set the exact placement of the power plant to be analyzed.

The process starts by a review the available information sets for the analysis, illustrated by the blue boxes in the middle in the image below:


The satellite image survey can cover both agricultural land and forestland, as well mapping the road network if it is otherwise unavailable. All the map-based datasets compiled during the analysis are delivered to the client as a GIS database.

Once sufficient datasets for the analysis are compiled, and the technology options for the power plant are fixed, the next step is to build a spatially explicit feedstock supply and power plant operation simulator.

The providers of the solution: MHG performs the project in collaboration with her partner, Simosol Oy. Simosol provides computationally advanced consulting and decision support software development services for clients in natural resource management, especially forest resource management. Our clients include forest industry companies, and forestry support organizations in Finland, and private and public organizations in Asia and Central America. Similar approach as described here has been applied for instance in World Bank financed projects to map the biomass based energy production potential in Pakistan and Vietnam.

Roadmap: The solution GIS database forms a solid and reliable basis for understanding the biological assets and the infrastructure in the analysis area. This can be directly utilized with the MHG Biomass Manager solution for operational supply chain management, as well as for long-term planning in the Iptim decision support system.

Contact information:

Seppo Huurinainen

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