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Clariant Breaks Ground On Cellulosic Ethanol Plant In Romania

Sept. 14, 2018
Clariant starts construction of the first large-scale commercial Sunliquid plant for the production of cellulosic ethanol made from agricultural residues.

Groundbreaking ceremony for the new Sunliquid plant in Craiova/Romania (left to right): Urs Herren, ambassador of Swiss confederation, Claudiu Mares, state secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Anton Anton, minister of energy, Paula Pîrvănescu, state secretary at the Ministry of Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Christian Kohlpaintner, member of the executive committee Clariant, Ion Prioteasa, Dolj County council president, Philippe Mengal, executive director BBI JU, Constantin Gheorghita, mayor of Podari, Oliver Kinkel, head of region Europe Clariant, Dragos Gavriluta, Clariant project director Sunliquid Romania, Markus Rarbach, head of business line biofuels & derivatives, Clariant, Martin Vollmer, chief technology officer Clariant

Clariant starts construction of the first large-scale commercial Sunliquid plant for the production of cellulosic ethanol made from agricultural residues. At the flagship facility, the company’s Sunliquid technology will be used on an industrial scale for the first time, according to the company. A traditional groundbreaking occurred in Podari near Craiova in southwestern Romania, attended by official representatives of the Romanian government, Swiss Ambassador Urs Herren and a Clariant delegation headed by Christian Kohlpaintner, member of the executive committee. 

The plant reportedly represents the biggest industrial commitment by an international corporation in this region. At full capacity, it will process around 250 000 tons of wheat and other cereal straw sourced from local farmers to 50 000 tons of cellulosic ethanol annually, according to Clariant. By-products from the process will be used to generate renewable energy with the goal of making the plant independent from fossil energy sources. The resulting cellulosic ethanol is therefore an advanced biofuel that is practically carbon-neutral, according to the company.

Craiova was selected due to the existence of a secure regional supply of feedstock and to the region’s existing logistic and industrial infrastructure. Plant construction will allow local farmers to industrially market straw for the first time, which was previously practically unutilized agricultural residue, according to Clariant. During the plant’s construction phase, several hundred construction workers will be employed from locally based companies wherever possible.

After completion, the plant is expected to provide around 300 permanent jobs in supporting industries serving the site, and in the transportation and storage of the feedstock. The plant itself will employ a workforce of between 100 and 120. Clariant plans to recruit its workforce locally and provide training both in its own laboratories in Planegg near Munich and at the pre-commercial sunliquid plant in Straubing, Bavaria.

For more information, visit: www.clariant.com

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