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This study comprises of 28 countries from 1980 to 19981 (see Annex 3). The countries covered are: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Yemen Democratic Republic. In addition, Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Sudan, Tunisia and Turkey, have also been included. Although these countries have been covered in previous WETT studies, WETT-Africa respectively WETT-Asia, they are incorporated in order to draw together all the Near East countries in one study. A broad definition of the Near East has, consequently, been applied.

All woodfuels are included: fuelwood, charcoal, black liquor and others. This data is presented according to production, consumption, export, import and transformation loss (during charcoal production). There is, however, not any figures available of the Final Energy Users, i.e. residential, commercial, industrial, for heat and power generation. The methodology applied in this study is provided in Annex 1.1. and Annex 1.2.

All woodfuel figures are presented in Peta Joule, [PJ]. It is however, possible, with the help of the formulas presented in Annex 2, to convert the data into other units.

1.1. Data quality issues

The sources of information used have been several: FAOSTAT, UN Energy Statistics Yearbook, as well as World Energy Council (WEC), Asian Energy News (November 1995) and International Energy Agency (IEA).2

The assessment, analysis and comparison of figures from the different databases has been problematic due to the diverse level of disaggregation, different units used, the various definitions of the different types of biofuels and many data gaps.

1.2. Analysis of woodfuel types used in the region

Woodfuels comprises of all types of biofuels derived directly and indirectly from trees and shrubs grown in forests and non-forest lands. Woodfuels, furthermore, also include biomass derived from silvicultural activities (thinning, pruning etc.) and harvesting and logging (tops, roots, branches, etc.), as well as industrial by-products derived from primary and secondary forest industries which are used as fuel. Woodfuels derived from ad hoc forest energy plantations are also included. Woodfuels are composed of four main types of commodities: fuelwood, charcoal, black liquor and others. For more details see Annex 1.1. and Annex 1.2.

Fuelwood (or firewood): includes "wood in the rough" in small pieces (fuelwood), chips, pellets and/or powder derived from forests and isolated trees, as well as wood by-products from the wood products industry and from recovered woody products.

Charcoal: refers to a solid residue derived from the carbonisation, distillation, pyrolysis and torrefaction of wood (from the trunks and branches of trees) and wood by-products, using continuous or batch systems (pit, brick and metal kilns). It also includes charcoal briquettes.

Black liquor: is the alkaline-spent liquor obtained from the digesters in the production of sulphate or soda pulp during the process of paper production, in which the energy content is mainly derived from the content of lignin removed from the wood in the pulping process.

Other woodfuels: includes a broad range of liquid and gaseous fuels derived from fuelwood and charcoal basically by pyrolitic or enzymatic processes, such as pyrolisis gases, ethanol, methanol, products of growing interest but up to now not so important as energy commodities.

1 The data from 1998 is incomplete due to lack of data on some of the commodities, such as fuelwood and charcoal. This data needs, therefore, to be update in the future.

2 We are grateful for the information provided to us by IEA and WEC.

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