We receive and publish with pleasure this contribution sent by professor Olli Dahl (Aalto University, Finland), who presents a list of all the main investments and their products in Finnish bioeconomy, and considers whether the country’s forest resources can cope with so much new potential capacity in the forest industry sector.
“The Ipo (Initial public offering, editor’s note) of Versalis is not yet in Eni’s plans”, Massimo Mondazzi, CFO of the Italian oil giant, said last Friday during a conference call with analysts answering the question about the chemical quotation hypothesis. “We want to maintain and strengthen Versalis, there are no Ipo projects. The option is not in the plans,” he said.
Finnish pulp and paper giant UPM moves forward with the development of biochemicals business by evaluating the potential of building a biorefinery in the Chemical Park Frankfurt-Höchst in Germany. The new-to-the-world biorefinery would combine novel technologies and utilize sustainable wood raw material in an innovative way. This opportunity is the outcome of more than five years of extensive technology development and piloting.
Avantium, the Dutch forerunner in renewable chemistry, locates a new pilot biorefinery at Chemie Park Delfzijl, in the Netherlands. Avantium and chemical giant AkzoNobel have signed a contract for the pilot plant accommodation and the supply of various facilities and services. The pilot plant will validate the technical and economic feasibility of Avantium’s Zambezi process, which aims to convert woodchips and other second generation biomass into raw materials for the chemical industry. This is an essential step in scaling up the technology from lab to commercial operations.
“GRowing Advanced industrial Crops on marginal lands for biorEfineries” (GRACE): this is the name of the BBI demonstration project under the coordination of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart (Germany) and with a unique consortium made up of universities, agricultural companies and industry. The aims will be achieved by knowledge exchange between these groups, together with new crop varieties and cultivation experiments on areas that have been polluted by heavy metals, for example, or are unattractive for food production due to lower yields.
Finnish company KaiCell Fibers completed a technical-commercial feasibility study (FS), mainly delivered by CTS Engtec Oy, and now is ready for the next steps towards making the biorefinery in Paltamo, northeast Finland, a reality.
The Italian biochemical company GFBiochemicals and Atlanta-based American Process Inc., which is specialized in the development of technologies for the commercial production of sugars and ethanol from biomass, have entered into a joint development agreement to create the largest integrated cellulosic biorefinery in the world. “The agreement – both companies stated – is rooted in our complementary industrial operations and joint vision for a lower-carbon future”. The proposed biorefinery, located in the U.S, is expected to create 50-200 thousand tonnes per annum of bio-based products, addressing markets with a potential annual value of USD 10 billion.
The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) urges U.S. Congress to advance a multi-year extension of renewable energy tax credits slated to expire at the end of 2016.
Comet Biorefining, a leading provider of sustainable and cost-competitive cellulosic dextrose technology for applications in renewable biochemicals and biofuels, has announced the location of its commercial-scale biomass-derived sugar facility in the TransAlta Energy Park in Sarnia, Ontario. The 60 million pounds per year plant will come online in 2018, producing dextrose sugar from locally-sourced corn stover and wheat straw. Corn stover consists of residues left in the field after harvest including stalks, leaves, husks and cobs.
It is not a good time to Versalis. But, despite the uncertainty about its future, the chemical company of Italian oil giant Eni continues to focus on green chemistry together with Elevance Renewable Sciences. The high-growth company (headquartered in Woodridge, Illinois), that creates novel specialty chemicals from natural oils, has recently and successfully completed scale-up of a second-generation biorefinery technology of the company’s olefin metathesis technology, utilizing ethylene and natural oil feedstocks.