Clariant completes construction of the first commercial sunliquid® cellulose-ethanol-plant in Podari, Romania.
Today, Clariant, a focused, sustainable and innovative specialty chemicals company, announced the official completion of its sunliquid® cellulose-ethanol-plant in Podari, Romania. The completed plant is another important step towards the commercialization of the sunliquid® technology, supporting Clariant’s strategy for the sunliquid® licensing business. The site will start operations in the fourth quarter and produce cellulosic ethanol based on agricultural residues.
Conrad Keijzer, Chief Executive Officer of Clariant, said, “Biofuels and biochemicals produced from agricultural residues play a key role in reducing our carbon footprint. This investment and the successful commercialization of this new technology is a significant milestone for Clariant and further evidence of our ambitious growth strategy to contribute to a more sustainable world through innovation.
“The investment also brings significant economic benefits to the region. Sourcing raw materials locally can maximize the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, additional business opportunities are created along the regional value chain. By-products generated in the process are used to produce renewable energy to make the plant independent of fossil energy sources. Therefore, the resulting cellulosic ethanol is a virtually carbon-neutral second-generation biofuel. In addition to its use as a drop-in solution in blending fuels, this offers further opportunities for downstream applications in bio-based chemicals and sustainable jet fuel.
“It is encouraging to see what we have accomplished since we began developing our sunliquid® technology in 2006. The technology was successfully implemented in our pre-commercial plant in 2012 and since then five sunliquid® technology licenses have been sold in both Europe and China. This milestone in Romania reinforces our commitment to building a more sustainable future,” said Christian Librera, head of Clariant’s Biofuels and Derivatives business line.
The plant in Podari, Dolj County, was built on a 10-hectare site with up to 800 workers on site since construction began in 2019. Contracts have been signed with over 300 local farmers to ensure the supply of the necessary raw materials.