Japan Partnership for Circular Economy

Japan Partnership for Circular Economy


Significant improvement in productivity of industrial afforestation in tropical regions

[Company / organization] Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.

Timing of launch


Explanation of technology and business model

In tropical regions, the development of good quality eucalyptus trees by selective breeding and mass proliferation using cuttings has greatly improved the productivity of biomass from industrial afforestation. By doing so, we can expect to increase the number of highly-efficiency CO2 absorbers and to greatly reduce the cost of biomass products.

Performance and targets, etc.

At the end of 2006, the Group acquired AMCEL, an afforestation business operator in the northern Brazilian State of Amapá. Initially, growth was extremely poor primarily due to poor soil, extreme climatic differences between the rainy and dry seasons, and various diseases, which occur frequently in tropical regions. After the acquisition, we selected eucalyptus trees which are suitable for the region, and as a result of improving growth year by year through mass proliferation by use of cuttings and the development of afforestation technology for tropical regions, the productivity of biomass material per hectare doubled in comparison with immediately after the acquisition.

In addition, by developing a DNA marker selection technology that selects good quality trees by analysis of their gene sequences, we were able to shorten the selection period—which was initially 12 years—down to just five.

With these improvements in productivity, AMCEL now conducts wood biomass recycling operations equating to more than 1.5 million tons of CO2 annually. Although simple comparison is not possible, it can be said that this operation has already achieved the target of CO2 separation and recovery costs for 2030 set by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).