M&G Chemicals to construct biorefinery in China

M&G Chemicals, among the three largest producers of PET resin for packaging applications in the world, has announced plans to construct a second-generation biorefinery in the region of Fuyang, Anhui Province, China in a joint venture with Chinese biomass collections and logistics company Guozhen.

The refinery will convert one million tonnes of biomass into bioethanol and bioglycol using Proesa technology licensed from Beta Renewables, a joint venture between Biochemtex, US private equity fund TPG and Danish enzyme producer Novozymes.

Guozhen will make available one million metric tons of straw biomass and use the lignin resulting as a by-product from the biorefinery to feed a 45 MW cogeneration plant which will be constructed simultaneously on the site. M&G Chemicals will be majority partner of the biorefinery and minority partner of the power plant.

The plant, which is expected to require capital expenditures of approximately $500 million (€369 million), is expected to be brought on stream in 2015.

The facility is the core part of the Biomass Utilisation Park that Guozhen plans to build in Fuyang City. Fuyang, a large agricultural region, is 'rich in biomass resources', according to the company - the crop planting area is up to 1.2 million hectares with 6 million tonnes per year of straw biomass available.

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