Swiss specialty chemical company Clariant has completed the construction of its first large-scale commercial cellulosic bioethanol plant that will use agricultural residues as feedstock in Podari, southwestern Romania. Construction started in September 2018.
The plant, which will be fully operational from 2020, will process 250,000 tons of straw each year. The plant will employ more than 100 people and generate an additional 300 jobs through suppliers and partners of the plant.
Investment in the plant was EUR 140 million (USD158 million), of which EUR40 million (USD45 million) was funded by a grant from the European Union. Clariant also received state aid totaling RON68.7 million (USD16 million) from the Romanian Government.
The decision to build the plant in Podari was due to the existence of a secure regional supply of feedstock and the region’s existing logistics and industrial infrastructure.
Using Sunliquid technology, the plant offers a fully integrated process design built on established process technology. Innovative technology features such as chemical-free pretreatment, the integrated production of feedstock-and process-specific enzymes, and simultaneous C5 and C6 sugar fermentation ensure optimum cost-effectiveness.
Clariant also has a demonstration plant in Germany, where the business research and development center for the project located.