BORAS, Sweden, May 2, 2013 (Press Release) - An existing pilot plant in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden is becoming a demo plant for bio refinery technology.
For a period of one year, the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden will evaluate how the extended utilisation capability is received by industry, universities and institutes for advancing new innovations. Vinnova and the Swedish Energy Agency have allocated SEK 28 million for execution of research and innovation projects to be performed in the plant that can be applied for by businesses, institutes and universities.
The restructuring entails that SP is taking overall responsibility for sales and contacts with customers, while ownership of the plant remains in its current form. The areas of applications for the demo plant in Örnsköldsvik, which has primarily been utilised for development of cellulose-based ethanol, is being expanded to encompass a wide spectrum of products based on combinations of chemical processes and industrial biotechnology. It is a matter of utilising biomaterials for new innovations, such as various green chemicals, materials, biofuels and bioenergy. The commitment from SP in the demo plant is a part of a larger initiative within the institutes concerning bioeconomy, in other words, a society that is based on renewable raw materials.
"We've conducted a pre- study that shows strong interest from businesses, universities and institutes for projects in the demo plant," says Markus Norström, head of SP's business area Energy. "Now that the use is expanding towards a large part of the biorefinery field, it's also logical that the plant receives the name 'Biorefinery Demo Plant', which better describes all the capabilities of the plant."
"We see a presence in Örnsköldsvik as very important for strengthening our presence in a region that is prominent within the field of biorefineries" says Maria Khosand, SP's CEO.
"Örnsköldsvik is an important biorefinery node in Sweden. With our initiative in bioeconomy, it's appropriate that weinvolve ourselves in the demo plant for biorefinery development. We've previously added Sune Wännström, former R&D manager at Sekab and with long experience from the forestry industry, to our organisation as a first step in an Örnsköldsvik establishment."
About the pilot plant:
The pilot plant in Örnsköldsvik was inaugurated in 2004 as a national facility for development of ethanol from forest raw materials and other lignocellulose materials. Since this time, several processes or sub-processes for ethanol have been tested in the plant with good results and with support from among others, the Swedish Energy Agency and Vinnova.
The development of cellulose-based ethanol has advanced to demonstration on a commercial scale. This creates space for using the plant in Örnsköldsvik for other purposes developing biorefinery processes for additional green chemicals, fuels and materials.
The support from the Swedish Energy Agency and Vinnova is provided to stimulate continued use of the plant.