199 million Euros subsidy granted to Dutch biomass refinery project

The Woodspirit project will make a significant contribution to the availability of biomass materials in the Netherlands
199 million Euros subsidy granted to Dutch biomass refinery project

A consortium consisting of BioMCN, Siemens, Linde, and Visser & Smit Hanab received the subsidy in the form of NER300 grants and will use the funds to construct a large-scale biomass refinery. The NER300 programme is a financial mechanism managed jointly by the European Commission, European Investment Bank and Member States. It makes financial resources available for innovative large-scale renewable energy projects.

The Woodspirit partnership submitted a grant application to the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs on February 9th 2011 and according to the Minister of Economic Affairs the project will significantly boost economic activity in the Netherlands. Woodspirit produces biobased chemicals and biofuels consisting of residues from forestry and wood processing. After dessication, reduction and torrefaction the biomass materials are fed into gasification plants where they are converted into raw synthesis gas (Syngas) which is then converted into biomethanol.

“We are proud and delighted that the European Commission has allocated funding to this project” said Rob Voncken, CEO of BioMCN. “These grants clearly demonstrate the EC’s support for the availability of more sustainable biofuels and renewable chemical materials. This project will have an important positive impact on the reduction of CO2 emissions and on meeting the 2020 climate objectives.”
The project is supported by various parties in the north-east Netherlands province of Groningen, particularly N.V. NOM, Stichting Energy Valley, N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie and Groningen Seaports. With the award of the subsidy the project can now be licensed and the decision-making process finalised allowing further refinement and shaping of agreements regarding total estimated investment. It is estimated that the project will take four years to complete.

The Dutch government is aiming to achieve 14% renewable energy by 2020 with a view to becoming a significant low carbon economy by 2050. Most of the activity so far with regard to renewables has taken place in the solar, wind, biofuel and geothermal sectors.

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