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New biorefinery demo plant opened in Norway

Norwegian finance minister Sigbjørn Johnsen officially inaugurated a biorefinery demonstration plant at Borregaard’s production facility in Sarpsborg this April.

The demo plant started preliminary operations last summer, followed by normal operations in the first quarter of 2013. The plant uses proprietary Borregaard technology and aims to produce cost-effective and sustainable lignin and bioethanol from new raw materials.

The technology converts the cellulose fibres in biomass to sugars that can be used for second generation bioethanol, while other components of the biomass become advanced biochemicals.

‘If we succeed with this project, we will be able to establish full-scale production of biochemicals with excellent climate accountability. This plant is a good example of how new technology can contribute to environmental solutions and also be commercially viable,’ says Borregaard CEO Per Sørlie.  

Construction of the plant has cost just under NOK 140 million (€18.5 million), 58 million of which was investment funding from Innovation Norway's Environmental Technology support scheme.