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Basis for biofuel

October 5, 1998, 10:00 CEST

Biological fuels can be produced cost-effectively in central Sweden and Norway, according to a recent report.

Technological solutions and adequate raw material solutions for such production are available between Östersund in the Swedish county of Jämtland and Trondheim in mid-Norway, the study finds.

"Unfortunately, however, a Norwegian plant of this kind would not be economically viable with today's low energy prices here," says Tore Torp in Research & Development.

He has represented Statoil in a collaboration which also embraces forest owner associations, companies and local authorities on both sides of the Norwegian-Swedish border.

This biofuel study has explored opportunities for producing such energy sources as biopellets and charcoal, which do not add to the net amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

"On the Norwegian side, we'll be putting the project on ice until energy prices improve," says Mr Torp. "But the authorities wouldn't have to adjust prices and taxes much to make biofuel production relevant in mid-Norway."

However, the Swedes plan to continue work on specific plans for charcoal production. Norwegian metal smelters are among buyers of this product, and would like to increase their purchases.

The project is part of the InterReg programme supported by the European Union, which aims to strengthen regional economic and cultural cooperation beyond the EU's external frontiers. It has been headed by the Meråker and Åre local authorities in Norway and Sweden respectively.

Employees who would like a copy of the report can contact Mr Torp.