January 22, 2016
Moldova is surrounded by Romania and Ukraine
Three Moldovans recently visited Japan to learn how to better maintain the Japanese biomass heating systems that are helping keep the country’s schools warm and open during the frigid Eastern European winters.
The participants from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry were in Japan in November. Upon their return, they planned to perform maintenance on the systems. They also planned to establish a pellet boiler working group in the ministry and to encourage the popularization of biomass heating in Moldova, as well as proper operation of pellet boilers.
The temperature can reach negative 30 degrees in Moldova, and because of financial difficulties, the country is not always able to procure enough fuel to sufficiently heat schools. As a result schools have sometimes had to be closed in the winter.
Learning about caring for the pellet production plant manufactured by Watarai Electrical Construction Co., Ltd. (In Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture)
Observing the pellet boiler manufacturing process at Niko Engineering Co., Ltd. (in Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture)
To address this situation, the JICA grant aid project, begun in June 2013, installed biomass heating systems that use such agricultural by-products as straw to make fuel pellets for heating. Agriculture is Moldova’s largest industry.
The project is supporting the adoption of pellet production plants and pellet boilers for heat in 24 schools, including kindergartens and elementary schools. Heating with natural gas and electricity requires fuel imports and heating with coal creates a lot of soot. By using pellet boilers, however, domestic fuel can be leveraged and heating achieved without the creation of much soot.
The three participants visited the two companies in Yamagata and Shizuoka prefectures whose equipment was adopted, and received training in quality control, production planning, and the importance of keeping in mind cost accounting and choosing the right installation conditions when planning to operate one of the boilers.
JICA has been providing assistance to Moldova since 1997, with a focus on the promoting industries including agriculture, and the health sector. As one of the representative examples of assistance in the agricultural sector, the food security project for underprivileged farmers (2KR [Second Kennedy Round]), which began in 2000, has particularly contributed to the spread of agricultural machinery in the country.