Innogy sells German biomass cogeneration plant, pellet facility

By Erin Voegele | January 28, 2020

German energy company Innogy has sold a biomass cogeneration plant and adjacent wood pellet plant to Austria-based Cycleenergy Holding GmbH. The company also recently announced its U.S. pellet plant is operating above nameplate capacity.  

Innogy announced on Jan. 28 the biomass cogeneration plant and connected pellet plant operated by its subsidiary NRW Pellets GmbH was sold to Cycleenergy. The facilities are located at the Siegen-Wittgenstein industrial park in the west-central region of Germany. The change of ownership and transfer of employees at the two plants took place on Jan. 27.

According to Innogy, Cycleenergy operates three biomass cogeneration plants and two pellet plants in Austria. The company also develops, finances and builds decentralized base load-capable and sustainable energy solutions in Austria and neighboring countries.

A statement released by Innogy explains the sale of the two facilities was the result of a long-term realignment of the company’s business, in which biomass is no longer considered a strategic growth area. The company has also sold biomass plants located in Kehl, Germany; Goch, Germany; and Enna, Italy.

Approximately one month earlier, on Dec. 18, 2019, Innogy announced its Georgia Biomass LLC subsidiary, which operates a 750,000-metric-ton-per-year pellet plant in Waycross, Georgia, was operating at levels above nameplate capacity. As of the end of November, the facility had already produced 750,000 tons of wood pellets. Following December operations, the plant was expected to reach an annual run rate of 110 percent nameplate capacity.

“I am proud that we reached this production record. Due to all efforts, past and present, Georgia Biomass now truly is a benchmark worldwide: The largest plant for industrial wood pellets by production,” said Fabian Gaus, managing director of Georgia Biomass. “This is the success of our employees, which stepped-up to each and every challenge and through hard work and determination, found innovative solutions to address issues that limited production rate.”

The facility began operations in April 2011. According to Innogy, fiber utilized to produce pellets at the Georgia Biomass facility are 100 percent compliant with the Sustainable Biomass Program and has a residual share of approximately 50 percent. The plant is certified to seven sustainability standards: FSC Chain of Custody, SFI Chain of Custody, PEFC Chain of Custody, FSC Controlled Wood, SFI Fiber Sourcing, GGL Chain of Custody and Processing and SBP. It is also fully ENplus A1 certified and is qualified into the Pellet Fuels Institute Standards Program.