A Dutch firm invests €45 million in an Estonian biocoal plant

Momentum Capital, a Dutch investment firm, has made a conditional investment of €45 million in the development of an industrial scale torrefaction biocoal plant in Vägari, Estonia.

The Dutch company made the investment through its subsidiary, Baltania. According to Momentum, if all conditions of the investment are met, the construction of the biocoal plant will start in the second quarter of 2018, the company said on its website.

The plant’s production will focus on torrefied biocoal pellets produced from sustainable woody biomass, Momentum Capital said.

“The biocoal pellets can be used to partially or to fully replace fossil coal in electrical power or heat generation plants as a sustainable alternative without significant additional investment in plant conversion,” according to the company. “The energy density and grindability of renewable and sustainable biocoal pellets are similar to thermal steam coal and significantly higher than that of white wood pellets or wood chips. This also means that logistic costs per tonne transported are significantly lower. The main customer base will consist of utility companies in Nordic countries and Central Europe.”

The investment will be funded by Momentum Capital together with other investors and financial institutions. The European Union has approved a grant of €25 million for the torrefaction project, Momentum said, adding that the project will be carried out in cooperation with the Estonian ministry of the environment.

The Dutch investment firm also said the biocoal plant investment would have a positive impact on employment in surroundings of Vägari. “The biocoal plant will offer directly at least 30 jobs in production, added with many overhead support opportunities via third party local businesses to be selected. In addition, approximately 300 jobs will be created in harvesting and logistics, and more than 200 temporary jobs are to be created during construction of the biocoal plant.”

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The cover image is illustrative (Shutterstock).

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor of Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain and the UK, he now resides in the United States. He loves to write and besides contributing to Estonian World and some occasional blogging, he writes for other media outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at sten@estonianworld.com.