Buying in biofuel

August 25, 1999, 10:00 CEST

A Swedish biofuel plant has been acquired by Statoil along with a number of customer contracts for heating installations in Norway and Sweden.

Concluded with Norwegian technology developer Cambi Bioenergi, this purchase deal covers the Vänerbygden Pellets facility at Säffle in central Sweden.

In addition come contracts for supplying fuel to 11 local heating installations in Norway and two in Sweden.

The Swedish plant produces about 15,000 tonnes of pellets per year from sawdust supplied by the lumber industry.

"A commitment to this important form of renewable energy also strengthens Statoil as an energy company," says project manager Geir Skjevrak in Retailing & Nordic Energy.

He does not see biofuel as a competitor to traditional oil products, but rather as a contributor to more flexible energy consumption.

Bio-energy reduces carbon dioxide emissions, he notes. Wood, bark and spent lye from paper mills represent its commonest forms, along with pellets.

"This form of biofuel provides a more concentrated energy form as well as better environmental properties and simpler handling," Mr Skjevrak points out.

"That in turn greatly simplifies the construction and operation of heating installations based on bio-energy."

Statoil has initiated sales of biofuel through its existing marketing organisation in Sweden, and has been testing pellets as an energy carrier at a district heating facility in eastern Norway.

Together with Norwegian forest industry group Norske Skog, Statoil is also building a pellets plant at Brumunddal north of Oslo.