Evry-Golbey, France — The launch of the BioSkog biorefinery project in partnership with pulp and paper company Norske Skog Golbey has been announced by Arbiom’s subsidiary Biomethodes, a technology company developing second generation biorefining of non-food biomass. The alliance between Arbiom and Norske Skog Golbey will take the form of a special purpose vehicle responsible for the study and construction on the Golbey production site of a pilot unit followed by a first commercial scale biorefinery.
The goal of this project is to better leverage the rich chemical value of wood biomass along with the specificity of the abundant forestry resources of the Lorraine region by converting woody material into sustainable intermediates that can be used by the chemical industry as an alternative to fossil carbon resources.
The commercial scale biorefinery will have a planned processing capacity of 40,000 tons of biomass per year and will be operational by 2018. €40 millions will be invested in the project. BioSkog leverages the technological expertise of Arbiom, developer of non-food biomass (lignocellulose) processing solutions and awarded in the Innovation 2030 Worldwide Challenge and combines it with the industrial know-how of Norske Skog Golbey, a leading producer of publishing paper.
Located on the site of Golbey’s “Green Valley”, winner of the French “Circular Economy Grand Prize” in 2014, the BioSkog biorefinery will enable the emergence of a sustainable bioeconomy supporting environmentally friendly chemical and fuels industries by supplying renewable non-food biomass based intermediates. BioSkog will open new higher value markets for the local forestry industry and bring new revenues to Norske Skog Golbey, already considered one of the most efficient in the world.
Synergies between paper production and biorefining, combined with Norske Skog Golbey know-how in industrial wood sourcing and processing, will allow the partners to validate a new model demonstrating the economical benefits of on-site integration of their operations. Additional benefits include reducing the risk and accelerating the timing of the project study to deploy the first wood based biorefinery.
Gilles Amsallem, CEO of Arbiom, states: “After having developed our technology at pilot scale in another wood rich area, Virginia USA, the BioSkog project provides Arbiom with the perfect environment for the first industrial deployment in France and the structuring of a biobased chemical value chain leveraging the country’s massive forest material resources.”
Yves Bailly, CEO of Norske Skog Golbey, added: “Beyond the direct creation of 40 jobs for the operation of he biorefinery and the activity of the new partner on Golbey’s site, this will economically strengthen Norskekog Golbey. The BioSkog project will lead to the validation of a new industrial model for forestry material that will then be replicable to other paper mills site and other forest rich areas in France and throughout the world.”