Cellulosic ethanol plant in Denmark inaugurated

By Lisa Gibson
A 5.4 MMly (1.4 MMgy) nameplate capacity Inbicon A/S cellulosic ethanol plant in Kalundborg, Denmark, is preparing to distribute its first stock of fuel in 2010.

The facility, one of the world's first demonstration plants for second-generation ethanol, was inaugurated Nov. 18 by Prince Joachim of Denmark and will run on about 30,000 metric tons (33,000 tons) of straw per year, according to Inbicon, a Dong Energy technology company. Danisco Genecor and Novozymes will provide enzymes to the plant, which will employ about 30 people. The plant also will produce 13,000 metric tons of lignin pellets per year, for use as fuel at combined-heat-and-power plants, and 11,100 metric tons of C5 molasses, for animal feed, according to Dong. It's a unique technology with minimum waste, according to Kathrine Westermann, international media adviser for Dong Energy.

The total cost of construction is 400 million Danish kroner (DKK) ($80 million), supported by 76.7 million DKK from the Danish Energy Development & Demonstration Programme, according to Dong. Demonstration is supported by the European Seventh Framework Programme with 67.7 million DKK. The European Seventh Framework also supported plant design at an earlier stage.

Norway-based Statoil will distribute the ethanol to target markets in the U.S. and Asia, among others, Westermann said. Inbicon has already sold 5 million liters of ethanol to Statoil, according to Dong. A number of business delegations have been visiting the site in Kalundborg and Dong is close to signing a deal with a U.S. company, she added.

Part of the fleet of cars that transported delegates around Copenhagen at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in December ran on Inbicon's ethanol mixed with petrol, according to Niels Handrikson, Inbicon CEO.

During the inauguration, Prince Joachim was accompanied by executives and representatives from Dong Energy, the EUPD program and the EU Commission.