Swiss group Clariant, operating in the chemical industry, started last week, in Podari commune, Dolj County, the construction works of a large-scale cellulosic ethanol production plant from agricultural residues, the first such plant of the Swiss group, with an investment of about EUR 100 million.
Company representatives say the Podari plant will be Clariant’s first commercial production plant for cellulosic ethanol to use the sunliquid process, a concept developed by the company over several years of research and testing of industrial plants, with a production capacity of 50,000 to 150,000 tons of cellulosic ethanol per year.
The Podari plant will use wheat straws and other cereals as raw material and will start running as of 2020.
Clariant will set up about 400 jobs in Podari, and the company’s representatives want to hire local workforce, taking advantage of the proximity to Craiova, an important university center.
The bioethanol plant, an alternative fuel, can be replicated in the south of Romania with the technology developed by the Swiss company, said Dragos Gavriluţă, the Romanian dealing with Clariant’s investment on the local market.
Energy Minister Anton Anton said that this investment is energy-related, and Romania has a European target it pursues with tenacity. “If in terms of wind and solar energy, house isolation, we are doing all right, we still have problems in the transport area because we miss such a plant, we miss the bioethanol production part,” Energy Minister Anton Anton said at the ceremony organized by Clariant in Podari.
‘Romania Journal’ reported in November last year, that Christian Kohlpaintner, Member of the Executive Committee with Clariant, was saying, when announcing the investment, that “Clariant is continually investing in the development of sustainable products and innovative solutions such as sunliquid. This pioneering process demonstrates the production of efficient and sustainable advanced biofuels and has great potential as a technology platform for a variety of bio-based materials. It is a further illustration of Clariant’s successful innovation strategy, as this technology provides additional growth potential to an already strong portfolio.”