Brussels grants millions to subsidise Dutch biomass and biofuels initiative

A consortium is to use a multi-million euro grant to construct a large-scale biomass refinery in the Netherlands.

The companies involved are BioMCN, Siemens, Linde, and Visser and Smit Hanab, which received a €199 million NER300 grant to fund the project also known as Woodspirit.

NER300 is a financing instrument, jointly managed by the European Commission (EC), European Investment Bank and member states, that provides financial resources for large-scale innovative renewable energy projects.

The Woodspirit partnership submitted the grant application to the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs back in February 2011, and BioMCN CEO Rob Voncken says they are all ‘proud’ to get a positive decision.

‘These grants clearly demonstrate the EC’s support for the availability of more sustainable biofuels and renewable chemical materials,’ Voncken adds. ‘This project will have an important positive impact on the reduction of CO2 emissions and on meeting the 2020 climate objectives.’

The refinery is set to produce biobased chemicals and biofuels via residues from both the forestry and 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.

‘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.’

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