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Work begins on pyrolysis plant

Empyro has broken ground on its pyrolysis oil production plant in the Netherlands.

Once construction is complete, expected for the end of this year, production capacity at the plant will be gradually ramped up to more than 20 million litres of pyrolysis oil per year. This oil is enough to replace 12 million m3 of natural gas, the equivalent annual consumption of 8,000 households.

Located at the AkzoNobel site in Hengelo, the project received €19 million in financial support from various parties, including the European Commission's FP7 programme, the Ministry of Economic Affairs via the Topsector Energie TKI-BBE programme, the province of Overijssel, the Energy Fund of Overijssel and a private investor from Enschede.

The Dutch minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp congratulates Empyro with this project:
'The construction of this pyrolysis plant shows what is possible if companies, knowledge centres and the public sector work together. This contributes to the development of renewable biofuels and a cleaner energy production,' says the Dutch minister of economic affairs Henk Kamp.

Theo Rietkerk, representative of the province of Overijssel, adds: 'This investment of the Energy Fund Overijssel is the first in a series of investments I foresee in the coming years. It is fully in line with our innovation policy, employment generation, and the strengthening of our regional economy in Overijssel as well as the realization of our target of 20% renewable energy in Overijssel in 2020.'

Empyro said in a statement that a total of 15 local suppliers are involved in the project, including Zeton, HoST and Stork Thermeq, which have been awarded construction contracts.

In the pyrolysis process, biomass such as woodchips is mixed with hot sand and converted within two seconds into pyrolysis oil, char and gas. Empyro was founded by technology company BTG Bioliquids and renewables investment company Tree Power to demonstrate the technology on a commercial scale. The pyrolysis oil produced at the plant will be purchased by FrieslandCampina, which has signed a long term off-take agreement, for use in its production location in Borculo.

Managing director of BTG BioLiquids Gerhard Muggen comments: 'We see opportunities for supplying this technology to many biomass-rich countries around the world.'





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