Romania: Wheat Straw as a Feedstock Bilfinger Supports Clariant in Building Advanced Biofuels Plant

Editor: MA Alexander Stark

Engineering company Bilfinger has been commissioned by the Swiss specialty chemical company Clariant to deliver EPCM (engineering, procurement, overall project and construction management) services for the construction of their commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production plant using Clariant’s sunliquid technology in southwest Romania.

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The plant will be processing wheat straw into almost carbon neutral advanced biofuel.
The plant will be processing wheat straw into almost carbon neutral advanced biofuel.
(Source: Marius Godeanu/ Bilfinger)

Mannheim/Germany — Clariant has awarded an engineering contract for the construction of a first-of-a-kind advanced biofuels plant in Podari, Romania. While the Covid-19 pandemic continues to present a challenging situation, the team was able to ensure that work on the construction site continues while fully complying with all pandemic precautionary regulations as established by the Romanian authorities, the company announced. Once operational, the plant will process around 250,000 tons of locally sourced wheat straw per year into 50,000 tons of cellulosic ethanol. Clariant’s sunliquid plant will use co-products from the process for the generation of energy with the goal of making the plant independent from fossil energy sources.

Over the past months, several milestones have been reached on the construction site while also achieving the installation of the majority of large key equipment. Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021, after which start-up and production will commence.

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An international team at Bilfinger Tebodin of around 130 experts from the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Ukraine is working on the project. The team has realized the complete process design in one digital platform. Centralizing all data makes the planning of the plant more efficient, e.g. as it considerably speeds up design reviews.

For the spatial design, the engineering company is combining various software packages. The 3D model of the plant is extended to a 4D model that includes time planning, making it possible to optimize the sequence of the individual construction phases. The company is also assisting Clariant in procuring materials and services. Furthermore, the team manages and supervises the construction works.

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