Clariant completes construction of cellulosic ethanol plant in Romania

Clariant ethanol plant in Romania

BUCHAREST (Romania), October 15 (SeeNews) - Switzerland-based specialty chemicals company Clariant said on Friday that it has completed the construction of a cellulosic ethanol plant in the southern Romanian county of Dolj.

The facility in will be operational in the fourth quarter, producing cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues, Clariant said in a press release.

"The flagship plant will process approx. 250,000 tons of straw to produce approx. 50,000 tons of cellulosic ethanol per annum," the company said.

The plant was is built on a 10-hectare area in Podari on which construction started in 2019 with up to 800 workers onsite. Contracts with more than 300 local farmers have been signed to ensure the supply of the necessary feedstock.

The completed construction is an important next step for the commercial deployment of sunliquid(R) technology and thus supports Clariant's sunliquid(R) licensing business strategy, the company noted.

"Biofuels and biochemicals produced from agricultural residues play a key role in reducing our carbon footprint. This investment and the successful commercialization of this new technology represents a major milestone for Clariant and is a further proof point for our ambitious growth strategy, led by innovations that contribute to a more sustainable world," Clariant CEO Conrad Keijzer said.

The investment also brings substantial economic benefits to the region and by locally sourcing feedstock, greenhouse gas emission reduction can be maximized.

Also, additional business opportunities will arise along the regional value chain, Clariant said. Co-products produced by the process will be used to generate renewable energy, making the plant independent of fossil energy sources. Therefore, the resulting cellulosic ethanol is an almost carbon neutral second generation biofuel. Besides application as a drop-in solution for fuel blending, this offers further downstream application opportunities into bio-based chemicals and for sustainable aviation fuel.

"It is encouraging to see how far we have come since the start of the development of our sunliquid(R) technology in 2006. The technology was successfully implemented in our pre-commercial plant in 2012 and five sunliquid(R) technology licenses have been sold in both Europe and China since then. This milestone in Romania underlines our commitment to building a more sustainable future", Clariant's head of Biofuels and Derivatives business line Christian Librera said.

Clariant was formed in 1995 as a spin-off from Sandoz. Headquartered near Basel, the company employs over 13,235 globally.

($=0.8387 euro)

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