Press release

Fortum investigates more efficient use of biomass in its new joint venture in India

02 May 2018, 14:00 EEST



Fortum takes a step forward in its Bio2x programme by establishing a joint venture together with Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and Chempolis for building and operating a biorefinery in Assam, India. Fortum will invest to the project EUR 13.5 million for which Fortum will get 28% share of the joint venture.

For Fortum this joint venture is part of company's Bio2x research and development programme that aims at more resource efficient use of biomass. The aim is to find ways to separate and put to use all usable fractions of the biomass.

"In Bio2x programme we are investigating new business opportunities with fractioning-based technologies and end-products of the process. We believe that valuable end-products can be produced from biomass and used in place of fossil or other less sustainable raw materials," says Heli Antila, Fortum's CTO.

Fortum is currently testing several different fractioning methods. Fortum has also co-operation projects with different companies to test the end products of different methods.

The new biorefinery will be based on formico-technology developed by Chempolis.  The key raw material of the biorefinery is bamboo. Main product is bio-ethanol that will be sold to NRL who will blend it to petrol. In addition biorefinery produces biochemical and biocoal. Biocoal will be used in CHP plant to produce heat and power to the biorefinery. Excess power will be sold to NRL's oil refinery where it will replace fossil electricity production.

"Chempolis' solution is one of the fractioning technologies that we are investigating. We are happy that with this joint venture we can finally proof it on commercial scale and in this way take a step forward in our Bio2x programme," says Heli Antila.

This project has a clear role in fight against climate change. It can also have a big positive impact on local communities. It will provide employment opportunities for thousands of people and in the long run it will help local communities to become self-sustained and enhance their living standards.

Fortum is the largest owner of Chempolis with approximately 34% of the shares.

Fortum Corporation
Group Communications

Further information:  Heli Antila, Chief Technology Officer, +358 40 571 7188

Read more:

Press release 20 October 2016: Fortum and Taaleri invest in Chempolis

ForEnergy blog post 18 April 2018: Resource-efficient use of biomass can change the world

NRL is an Indian state-owned oil refinery company, established in 1993 and commenced commercial production in 2000. NRL has strong base in North East India.

Chempolis is a Finnish biorefining technology company specialised in providing innovative and sustainable carbon-neutral biorefining technologies for the biomass, energy, oil, paper, alcohol, sugar and chemical industries.