Dutch wood-to-methanol facility scores $264 million grant

By BioMCN | December 31, 2012

A consortium consisting of BioMCN, Siemens, Linde, and Visser & Smit Hanab, have received EUR199 ($264 million) in NER300 grants. With these funds, a large-scale biomass refinery will be constructed.

This initiative, also known as the Woodspirit project, will make a significant contribution to the availability of sustainable and advanced biofuels, and to the biobased economy in the Netherlands.

"We are proud and delighted that the European Commission has allocated funding to this project. 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", says Rob Voncken, CEO of BioMCN
In the framework of the European NER300 program, the Woodspirit partnership submitted a grant application to the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs on Feb. 9, 2011. The European NER300 program provides financial resources for large-scale innovative renewable energy projects.
“Woodspirit delivers a significant contribution to the development of biofuels,” says minister Kamp of Economic Affairs. “Moreover, the partnership will boost economic activity in the North of the Netherlands.”

The Woodspirit refinery will produce biobased chemicals and biofuels from biomass that consists of residues from the forestry and the wood processing industries.

After a process of desiccation, reduction and torrefaction, the biomass is fed into a gasification plant. Here the biomass is converted into raw synthesis gas, better known as syngas. After cleaning the syngas is converted into biomethanol.
The construction of this project will provide a major boost to the economic development in the northeast part of the Province of Groningen and is supported by various parties, including the Province of Groningen, N.V. NOM, Stichting Energy Valley, N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie and Groningen Seaports.
With the awarding of the subsidy the development of the Woodspirit installation can continue and the licensing and decision-making process can be finalised. The subsidy will allow the consortium to further refine and shape agreements regarding the total estimated investment of 500 million Euros. The project will take approximately four years to complete.