The attractiveness of a certain country/region as trade partner for the EU not relates to the availability of biomass, but also to the political stability and local governance, the investment climate and potential projections to use the available biomass for domestic applications (energy and other). Also sustainability governance for forestry or agriculture are considered as this will be an important requirement from EU side for potentially imported biomass. The table below gives an overview of the main strengths and weaknesses of Indonesia as a trade partner for biomass with the EU.

SWOT principle






Mobilisation opportunities

Options to mobilise the production/ harvest of biomass for exports

Selling residues may provide additional income to farmers



Target to increase palm oil plantations from 1 million hectares to 3.6 million hectares by 2020 has been established by Central Kalimantan government. This target also leads to more palm residues to be mobilized

More mobilisation of palm residues from independent smallholders who apply appropriate management to boost yield and cultivate palm trees on degraded land

Infrastructure might not be quickly built up with the speed of palm plantation expansion

Security of supply

Stable amount of exportable biomass available over next 10 years

Governmental policies on palm expansion and production of fresh fruit bunches is assumed to increase (about 10 t/ha for various palm holders), indicate a stable supply of palm residues

Part of the residues is currently used locally (for mulching and local bioenergy use) which may limit availability-

Integration of palm oil processing plants and palm pelletisation plants

Feasibility to pelletise trunks and fronds to lower costs need to be further investigated


Demand from South Korea and Japan may limit supply to the EU

Cost of biomass in ARA ports

€/ton DM and €/GJ

Medium costs (€11.8/GJ) for biomass originating in regions near exporting harbour

There are opportunities to lower total costs thanks with increasing economies of scale 

High costs (€16.2/GJ) in some areas difficult to reach from exporting harbour


Long shipping distance to Europe may make costs delivered to ARA especially sensitive to fluctuations in shipping costs

Environmental issues (air, water, biodiversity and soil) are not negatively affected

Feedstock production does not affect negatively local environmental conditions

The current practice of partially burning residues after harvest could be reduced or phased out, with beneficial consequences for e.g. air quality

Some residues are currently used as fertilizer. Excessive removal could trigger nutrient depletion and erosion




Life cycle GHG emissions incl. direct LUC

GHG LCA assessment in agreement with IPCC guidelines along the supply chain

Use of oil palm  residues indicate low GHG emissions in biomass value chains compared with emissions of fossil fuels (under 75% EU cut off reference emissions)



If new oil palm plantations are established o deforested land, the LUC emissions could also be in part attributed to the residues

Social issues are not negatively affected

Feedstock production does not affect negatively local social conditions

Land swap policy gives priority to vulnerable farmers (independent smallholders)

Collecting and processing residues may provide new jobs


Governmental policies for palm plantation are developed but how they will be implemented and enforced need to be seen

Guarantee of reasonable income for independent smallholders has not been included in governmental action plans -


Existence of policies and regulations to regulate feedstock production. Implementation/Enforcement of national, local regulations as well as relevant international convention




Voluntary sustainability requirements (Certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) or Roundtable of sustainable palm oil (RSPO))- if soon and widely implemented - could maintain or improve environmental conditions for the environment and health-

General governance is weak in Indonesia.

General pollution control (of fertiliser use, water shortage and discharge) is not included in governmental regulations. And thus environmental pollution and deforestation are likely to happen

Coordination of provincial and district government's spatial plan revision needs to be strictly supervised to avoid forest land use for palm plantation