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Norway backs ethanol plant

06 Jan 2011 16:45 GMT
Norway backs ethanol plant

Stavanger, 6 January (Argus) — Norwegian chemicals and technology specialist Borregaard has secured a government grant of 58mn kroner ($9.8mn) to build a 400m³ pilot ethanol plant in Sarpsborg, southeast Norway.

Total investment in the plant, which will use bagasse and other solid biomass to produce ethanol, amounts to around 130mn kroner. Construction is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2012.

The Sarpsborg plant will use a diverse array of agricultural feedstock including straw, bagasse and wood chips. It will process around 50kg/hour of feedstock although the final level of output remains unspecified.

The government's financial support has been crucial in enabling Borregaard to mitigate risk, senior vice-president Gisle Lohre Johansen told Argus. This, along with backing from the federation of Norwegian industries, Norsk Industri, is also a strong sign of the sector's confidence in the future of second generation biofuels as a viable alternative to traditional road fuels, he said.

Borregaard is considering taking on a partner to expand the plant to a full-scale commercial operation should the pilot plant prove successful.

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