Beta Renewables biorefinery plant inaugurated in Italy

The world’s first commercial-scale plant for the production of bioethanol from non-food biomass sources was officially inauguratedin Crescentino (Vercelli – Italy) on 9 October. The Crescentino biorefinery, a 150 million euro capital investment, is owned by Beta Renewables, a joint venture between Biochemtex, a Mossi Ghisolfi Group engineering company, the American fund TPG (Texas Pacific Group), and the Danish company Novozymes, a world leader in bio-innovation.

The project was supported by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

The bio-refinery, with a footprint of 15 hectares, will have a positive economic impact in the region, employing directly a staff of approximately one hundred and creating more than 200 indirect jobs.

Started up in January 2013, the facility has a production capacity of 75 million litres a year of second generation bioethanol intended for the European market. The plant is entirely self-sufficient in terms of energy consumption (13 MW of electricity produced from lignin) and does not discharge any wastewater, ensuring 100% water recycling. Construction of the plant required 1,500 tons of steel, 1,400 tons of pipes and valves and 18 km of underground pipes. 370 machines were used in the process.


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