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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Integrated strategic, tactical and operational planning of forest-based biomass supply chains for energy and fuel production : a hybrid optimization simulation approach Akhtari, Shaghaygh


Biomass has emerged as an attractive renewable source of energy to shift away from fossil fuels. However, the high cost of biomass feedstock and variations, such as those in biomass supply and demand, impact the competitiveness of biomass and restrict bioenergy and biofuel developments. Therefore, supply chain planning is essential in improving the efficiency of biomass supply chains. In the literature, supply chain planning often has been carried out at strategic, tactical, and operational levels hierarchically by developing distinct models. Hierarchical planning may result in inconsistent and even infeasible solutions of higher planning levels at the lower levels because the details and variations at the lower levels are not considered at the higher levels. Hence, integrating the three different planning levels, while capturing the variations at the lower planning levels, could assure that plans from higher levels (e.g. strategic) are attainable at lower planning levels (tactical and operational). However, an integrated optimization model could require an enormous computational effort for solving. Therefore, proper solution approaches that can overcome this problem should be used. The main goal of this dissertation is to develop an integrated strategic, tactical, and operational planning model considering variations and details of lower planning levels, and employ a suitable solution approach to solve it. Herein, first, an optimization model that integrates the strategic and tactical decisions of forest-based biomass supply chains is developed to optimize the design of the supply chain considering variations at the tactical level. Then, three common decision rules, representing optimistic, moderate pessimistic, and pessimistic perspectives, are used to optimize the design of the supply chain considering the decision maker’s perspective towards risk. Next, a discrete event simulation model is developed to incorporate the operational level variations and its aspects. Finally, a hybrid scheme is proposed in which a linkage between the optimization and the simulation models is constructed to integrate different planning levels while incorporating variations at tactical and operational levels. The hybrid model is applied to a case study. The results of this research indicate that ignoring the tactical and operational level variations could result in sub-optimal and even infeasible solutions.

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