Biopellet plant opens

November 30, 1999, 10:00 CET

The new NOK 11 million Langmoen Trepelletsfabrikk owned 50 per cent by Statoil opens today, 30 November, at Brumunddal north of Oslo.

Norwegian forest products specialist Norske Skog owns the other 50 per cent of this plant, which will produce biofuel in pellet form from forest industry waste.

Such pellets contain two-five times more energy than the same volume of unprocessed biological fuel, such as wood.

"Biofuel pellets represent one of the best available options for encouraging increased consumption of new renewable energy sources," says Geir Skjevrak.

He heads the commitment to this fuel in Statoil's Retailing & Nordic Energy business area.

The new plant will produce 8,000 tonnes of pellets – corresponding to almost 40 million kilowatt-hours – annually from raw materials supplied by Norske Skog's parquet flooring factory in Brumunddal.

Production can be doubled, but Statoil wants to limit its commitment at present. However, Mr Skjevrak says the plant is still large enough to be profitable.

The biofuel will be delivered to a local school, a district heating facility in nearby Eidskog local authority, and the Norwegian College of Agriculture at Ås south of Oslo.

Norske Skog – Norway's largest producer and consumer of bioenergy – will be responsible for producing the pellets, with Statoil handling sales and distribution.