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SEPTEMBER  30,1999

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Centre Says 94% of Energy Lost in Traditional Carbonisation Process

ADDIS ABABA, September 30 (WIC) - An official in the ministry of mines and energy disclosed that 94% of the energy obtainable from the 100,000 - 150,000 hectares of forest land destroyed to produce charcoal through traditional carbonisation is lost annually.

The acting director of the Ministry's Rural Energy Technology Centre Ato Asres Woldeghirogis told WIC yesterday that only 6% of energy was derivable from the traditional underground carbonisation process.

According to the Centre's acting director the low energy turn-over from the traditional mode of carbonisation has been the cause for excessive destruction of forests for the generation of charcoal.

He said, the centre, through its alternative Carbonisation Technology Study Project, was undertaking research into minimising energy loss from 94% to 64%.

The 3 year, 200,000 Birr research now under way since last year, is aimed at rendering the charcoal processed through the alternative technology, odourless, easily combustible and light in weight, he said.

Ato Asress farther stated that the World Bank was prepared to provide about 8 million Birr for the centre's efforts to introduce and popularise the alternative technology.