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ConocoPhillips, Enviva plan torrefied plant

Nov. 22, 2011 – Enviva LP, a manufacturer of biomass fuel in the United States and Europe, announced yesterday that it has partnered with oil and gas producer ConocoPhillips, to create ECo Biomass Technologies to make torrefied biomass fuels.


November 22, 2011
By Scott Jamieson

Nov. 22, 2011 – Enviva LP, a manufacturer of biomass fuel in the United
States and Europe, announced yesterday that it has partnered with oil
and gas producer ConocoPhillips, to create ECo Biomass
Technologies to make torrefied biomass fuels.

ECo Biomass, jointly owned by Enviva and ConocoPhillips, will use a
combination of proprietary and acquired existing technologies to
manufacture and sell renewable, torrefied wood pellets. The company’s
initial facility, scheduled to be operational in 2013, will produce wood
pellets that will be sold under agreements with major utilities.

The torrefaction process involves superheating biomass to create a
uniform, hydrophobic, dense, and highly efficient fuel akin to coal but
with a superior environmental profile. Given torrefied fuel’s unique
properties and combustion benefits, this “drop-in” renewable solution
manufactured by ECo Biomass provides an attractive alternative for
utilities seeking to reduce their carbon emissions and extend the life
of existing coal burning facilities and infrastructure without
significant capital investment.

ConocoPhillips’ established presence as a fuel supplier to the
integrated power sector and Enviva’s proven operational expertise in
manufacturing sustainable biomass fuel uniquely position the companies
to bring a new renewable fuel alternative to utilities seeking to reduce
their dependence on coal.

“Although torrefaction is widely used in many industries, its
adaptation to the renewable energy industry has yet to be proven
cost-effective and scalable. Our partnership with ConocoPhillips is
designed to bring this new, sustainable, renewable fuel to the power
generation industry and enable our utility customers to reduce their
environmental impact in a cost-competitive manner,” said John Keppler,
Enviva chairman and CEO. “Both of our companies are energy industry
innovators, and this partnership underscores our commitment to
developing sustainable energy solutions.”

With large commercial and utility clients in the U.S., Europe and
Asia actively looking to upgrade power generating facilities to use
renewable fuels, ECo Biomass will seek to expand its production
capabilities significantly over the coming years. Enviva already
operates traditional wood pellet plants in the United States and Europe
representing approximately 750,000 metric tons of combined annual
capacity in 2011.


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