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Thermya begins construction of three biomass torrefaction plants

By Anna Austin | June 02, 2011

France-based biomass torrefaction technology developer Thermya has begun construction of three industrial biocoal plants, two in France and one in Spain.

The Basque County, Spain, plant is being built under the supervision of project developer Grupo Lantec. Thermya licensed its TORSPYD torrefaction technology to Grupo Lantec’s subsidiary Idema, and has been supporting the company with the process engineering aspects of the project.

Thermya will continue to provide support and assistance until successful commissioning of the plant, which is expected to occur this summer, according to Grupo Lantec Managing Director Román Monasterio. The plant will operate on a continuous basis and produce 20,000 metric tons of biocoal annually from local forestry residues.

The remaining plants under construction in Mazingarbe in northern France will be owned by LMK Energy, which awarded a contract to Thermya in January 2011. Together the plants will produce 40,000 metric tons of biocoal that will be densified into pellets or briquettes for supply to European power stations.

Construction of the plants began in March, and the first is slated to come online during the end of the third quarter of 2011, said Franck Lavarde of LMK Energy.

These plants will represent Thermya’s first commercial-scale facilities, as the company finished development of its torrefaction process in 2006, and a pilot unit at the company’s headquarters in Villenave d’Ornon, France, in 2007.