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Belgian firm soon to produce torrefied biomass

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Belgian firm soon to produce torrefied biomass
Belgium-based renewable energy company 4Energy Invest says it expects its wood torrefaction production unit in Amel, Belgium, to start commercial operation in December 2010.


November 8, 2010
By Argus Media

Nov. 8, 2010, London, UK – Belgium-based renewable energy
company 4Energy Invest says it expects its wood torrefaction production unit in
Amel, Belgium, to start commercial operation in December 2010. The company says
engineering activities and investments that were needed to bring the project
into commercial operation have now been finalized, and the testing phase has
started towards producing torrefied biomass, or “biocoal.” It plans to market
the biocoal mainly to utilities operating coal-fired power plants in Belgium,
Germany, and the Netherlands.

The torrefaction unit's production capacity will be 40,000
tonnes/year and is being built next to one of 4Energy's power plants in Amel.
Construction has started at the 9.5-MW plant, and the company says commercial
operation is scheduled for the second half of 2011.

4Energy is also developing a cogeneration plant and
torrefaction unit in Ham, Belgium. Construction and environmental permits have
been obtained and financing efforts will start once the torrefaction project in
Amel is operational. The company is planning to develop a further cogeneration
plant and torrefaction unit in Reisbach, Germany, and expects to receive the
permits for the project before the end of 2010.

The latest announcements come after 4Energy resolved a court
issue with Dutch firm Stramproy Green Technology over the use of its
torrefaction technology for biocoal. The court of Maastricht had ordered
4Energy to refrain from constructing biomass production plants using
Stramproy's torrefaction technology and allowing any third parties access to
its torrefaction facility in Amel. However, the two firms have entered into a
new agreement that allows 4Energy to modify, operate, and maintain the Amel
biocoal production project while reaching an agreement on the terms and
conditions for the future use of Stramproy's torrefaction systems.

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