ZAGREB (Croatia), September 4 (SeeNews) - Croatian oil and gas company INA [ZSE:INA] said it has completed testing of the energy crop miscanthus as a source of bio-fuel as part of a programme focused on ensuring the sustainability and profitability of its refining system.
"I am happy that the results are positive, as that opens the door for more analyses and possibilities," INA's operating head for refining and marketing, Stjepan Nikolic, said in a statement earlier this week.
"Thanks to cutting edge technology, it was possible to produce advanced bioethanol, which is blended to fossil fuels. This is just one of many steps that need to be taken into consideration to fulfil the prerequisites for the development of a biorefinery in Sisak," Nikolic said.
The first harvest of miscanthus was completed in early 2019, as part of INA's Downstream 2023 New Course programme and its analysis of developmental possibilities of bio-component refining, the company said.
The miscanthus (lat. Miscanthus x giganteus) was planted at a demonstration farm in Rugvica, near Zagreb, yielding some 30 tonnes of biomass this season. The collected biomass was then sent to German chemical company Clariant for processing and conversion into lignocellulosic sugars and ethanol, with the results indicating that the implemented sunliquid technology can successfully make that conversion.
The testing took place under the EU-funded GRACE project (GRowing Advanced industrial Crops on marginal lands for biorEfineries).
INA's Downstream 2023 New Course programme is focused on ensuring sustainability and profitability of the refining and marketing operations, and of the whole company through changes of the current downstream business model. It includes some 4.0 billion kuna ($595 million/540 million euro) worth of investments in a Delayed Coker Unit (DCU) project in INA's Rijeka refinery comprising the reconstruction of existing facilities and building a new port with closed petro-coke storage, aimed at turning the plant into a top level European refinery.
It also includes the transformation of the Sisak refinery into an industrial centre with the miscanthus processing being tested with that in mind as one of the options.
(1 euro = 7.40693 kuna)