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Biomass Supply Chain Risk Standards

One of the key challenges to the growth rate of the bio-industry is that the risks associated with biomass supply chains are not well understood. While concerns about technology, construction, and offtake have clear paths to resolution; at present there are no established protocols, standards, or recognized industry best practices for developers, investors, commercial lenders, insurance companies and rating agencies to utilize and rely upon to empirically demonstrate biomass supply chain risk. The absence of a standardized and recognized approach means that the debt and capital markets are independently using inconsistent approaches and evaluation criteria, leading to unreliable assessments of bio-project risks. This results in significant project financing barriers for bio-projects and millions of dollars of “financial-drag” on the projects that are eventually built. The Biomass Supply Chain Risk (BSCR) Standards are a biomass feedstock risk assessment protocol designed to enable the capital markets to more accurately quantify bio-feedstock risk and reduce uncertainty drives low bio-project credit ratings and high capital costs. By giving capital markets, credit agencies, commercial lenders, and insurance companies a common validated approach when attempting to price feedstock risk, BSCR Standards increase efficiency for the capital markets, accelerate existing bio-project development and attract additional national bio-industry development. The BSCR Standards are organized into six Risk Categories that fully encompass biomass feedstock supply chain risk: Supplier Risk, Competitor Risk, Supply Chain Risk, Feedstock Quality Risk, Feedstock Scale-Up Risk and Internal Organizational Risk. Each Risk Category identifies specific Risk Factors (i.e., the pathways of risk within each Category), Risk Indicators (i.e., the markers of risk for each Factor), and establishes Guidance to point users to best-in-kind methods and tools to measure and mitigate feedstock risks.

The ultimate goal of the BSCR Standards is to increase efficiency for the mainstream capital markets that help drive capital into bio-economy plant construction more rapidly and at a reduced cost. The BSCR Standards were developed under a multi-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office and carried out by  Idaho National Laboratory and Ecostrat with input from a stakeholder group of over 150 leading renewables companies and an Advisory Board with expertise aligned with various aspects of bio-feedstock risk.

The documents below represent the current version of the BSCR Standards for Agricultural Residues, Energy Crops, and Woody Feedstock supply chains; each of which has a slightly different risk indicator profile.

BSCR public files: