Lysaker, Norway – Two Norwegian companies, Choren Industries and Norske Skog, have entered into an agreement to evaluate second-generation biofuel production in Norway. The second-generation fuel is based on woody biomass and has been identified as a potential new business area.

Choren specializes in solid feed gasification technology used in the production of BTL (biomass-to-liquids), a synthetic biofuel. Earlier this year, the company finalized construction of the world’s first commercial plant for such production in Germany; in the near future it will produce about 18 million litres of BTL annually. It is also developing plans for a final investment in a full-scale plant that would produce a target of 270 million litres annually. Norske Skog is one of the world’s largest producers of newsprint and magazine paper, and has the systems required to handle large amounts of woody biomass for industrial production.

A plant similar to the full-scale German plant would be able to cover about 14 per cent of the total diesel consumption for road transportation in Norway, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 700,000 tonnes per year, corresponding to 7 per cent of the current total CO2 emissions from road traffic in the country. Second-generation biofuel can reduce the total life-cycle CO2 emissions by up to 90 per cent when compared to fossil diesel, and uses woody biomass as raw material, avoiding competition with food or fodder.

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