The bioenergy plant opening in Koura, Thursday, May 31, 2018. (The Daily Star/Gacia Trtrian)
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The safety masks handed out didn't entirely conceal the smell of burning wood, as visitors stepped into the newly inaugurated factory in Koura's Kfar Hazir, which turns tree clippings into briquettes to be used as firewood. The scraps that produce the fossil fuel substitute are no longer than 3 centimeters, and most are sourced from olive tree groves that the region is known for, which make up 86 percent of its agricultural land, according to the EU page for the project.The Koura plant for biofuel production, initiated in 2015 and inaugurated Thursday, was implemented by the Environmental and Energy Economics program at Balamand University's Institute of the Environment, with a budget of nearly 750,000 euros ($875,000).Lebanon got the biggest portion, securing four projects with funding from the EU.
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