Canadian Biomass Magazine

French paper mill’s new biomass plant reduces CO2 emissions 71%

September 16, 2019
By Saica

The opening event of the biomass plant gathered representatives of the regional government of Aisne. In particular, Nicolas Basselier, Prèfet de l´Aisne, Jean-Marie Carré, President of the Council of Soissons, Bruno Frimat, Deputy Regional Director of Ademe (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), and mayors of the municipalities of Venizel, Soissons, Missy-sur-Aisne and Bucy-le-Long. Photo supplied.

Saica group has inaugurated its first biomass plant at its paper mill in Venizel, France. Ramón Alejandro, president of Saica group, received the representative of the Aisne regional government, Nicolas Basselier together with the president of the Council of Soisson, Jean-Marie Carré and Bruno Frimat, Deputy Regional Director of Ademe, as well as mayors of the region of Venizel, Soissons, Missy-sur -Aisne and Bucy-le-long.

With a 41 million euros investment as of Sept. 12, and supported by Ademe and the Région Hauts-de-France, the biomass plant uses recycled wood and rejections from the production process to meet the demand of the steam process. The biomass plant, an example of circular economy, avoids sending waste to landfill by giving a second life to recycled wood.

The biomass plant generates all the required energy to operate the Saica Venizel paper mill, using 75,000 tonnes of discarded wood and 26,000 tonnes of by-products generated on the paper and pulp production process, which were formerly discarded. This way the plant displays its commitment to the principles of the circular economy: 280,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard are gathered in a radius of 150 kilometres to produce recycled paper, while 75,000 tonnes of discarded wood are collected in a radius of 80 kilometres to produce energy.

The new equipment fully contributes to sustainable development through:


• A 71 per cent decrease in on site CO2 emissions (46,500 tonnes every year).
• An 89 per cent reduction in consumption of natural gas, replaced by energy-from-waste.

The project was awarded by Ademe with the title Biomass Energy for Industry, Agriculture and Tertiary Sectors 2016, BCIAT (Biomasse Chaleur Industrie Agriculture Tertiaire) in the Energy Fund Framework. The biomass boiler will help sustain Venizel plant, a true showcase for Saica group, recognized by its high-performance paper quality and its environmental efficiency. Saica Paper Venizel currently employs 160 workers and the plant activity, and more than 1400 indirect jobs mainly at the Hauts-de-France region (LOCAL FOOTPRINT® 2017 study).

The biomass boiler shows Saica group commitment to a sustainable production, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set by United Nations, particularly Goal Nº 12. At the same time, this project aims at having the minimum environmental impact in the region, while using of the best available technologies following the principles of the circular economy.

In France, Saica has 22 production sites, all activities combined, and employs nearly 2,300 direct employees. In the Hauts-de-France, the group is located in Venizel (Saica Paper and Saica Pack), Doullens (Saica Pack) and Poix-de-Picardie (Saica Pack). These four sites represent 486 direct jobs.

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