The Government of the Republic of Macedonia last week joined a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Hungary-based Ethanol Europe and DuPont to facilitate the development of the cellulosic ethanol market in the Pelagonia region—one of eight statistical regions in the country, and bordering Greece and Albania. The collaboration is focused on the preparation of detailed feasibility studies for a commercial scale 2G ethanol plant to supply the European market.
According to the terms of the MOU:
The government of Macedonia will facilitate the project in establishing a viable supply chain using energy crops; increasing local production of cereals and oilseeds; and offering incentives for renewable biomass electricity for the nation’s power grid.
Ethanol Europe will create an investment plan with the intent to develop the sustainable agricultural supply chain, project design, project financing, and construction of a 100-million liter (26.4-million gallon US) biorefinery.
DuPont is to license the cellulosic ethanol technology currently being commercialized in their Nevada, Iowa biorefinery, supplying the enzymes that unlock the sugars in biomass and by including the intellectual know how in developing a sustainable agricultural supply chain practices.
Through appropriate modern agricultural practices, a Macedonian Cellulosic Plant could encourage high levels of soil carbon sequestration and improvement within Macedonia, as well as very high levels of greenhouse gas savings from the cellulosic ethanol produced, the partners said.
The potential greenhouse gas savings from the Macedonian Cellulosic Plant’s ethanol could exceed 100% under the methodology of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, all while having no adverse impacts on food security.
Today’s announcement is further acknowledgement of the viability of DuPont’s integrated biorefinery model. This project is particularly significant for its use of purpose grown energy crops as the primary feedstock. Ethanol Europe’s success in developing a highly efficient first generation ethanol facility in Hungary has been a key factor in our decision to partner with them in introducing our technology to Europe.—Jan Koninckx, global business director for advanced biofuels at DuPont