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Bilfinger Tebodin supporting Clariant’s sunliquid ethanol plant in Romania

Bilfinger Tebodin B.V, the Netherlands based arm of the German international industrial services provider Bilfinger SE (Bilfinger) has revealed that it has been commissioned by the Swiss specialty chemical company Clariant AG to deliver EPCM (engineering, procurement, the overall project, and construction management) services for the construction of Clariant's commercial-scale "sunliquid" cellulosic ethanol plant in Podari in southwest Romania.

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Bilfinger Tebodin is providing EPCM services for a commercial-scale plant for the production of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues based on Clariant’s proprietary “sunliquid” technology currently under construction in Podari, in the Craiova region of Romania. An aerial view of completed site preparation works from last summer (photo courtesy Clariant).

Bilfinger Tebodin has been managing the project for Clariant since 2019. An international team of around 130 experts from the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Ukraine is working on the project. The team has realized the complete process design in one digital platform. Centralizing all data makes the planning of the plant more efficient, e.g. as it considerably speeds up design reviews.

While the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to present a challenging situation, the team was able to ensure that work on the construction site continues while fully complying with all pandemic precautionary regulations as established by the Romanian authorities.

We are proud to support our long-standing customer Clariant in the construction of this groundbreaking plant that will contribute to the large-scale production of sustainable fuels. With our extensive network and expertise in design, engineering, procurement, and construction management, we ensure the timely and efficient execution of this major project, said Jorg Gerritsen, Project Director of Bilfinger Tebodin.

For the spatial design, Bilfinger Tebodin is combining various software packages. The 3D model of the plant is extended to a 4D model that includes time planning, making it possible to optimize the sequence of the individual construction phases.

Bilfinger Tebodin is also assisting Clariant in procuring materials and services. Furthermore, the team manages and supervises the construction works.

Over the past months, several milestones have been reached on the construction site while also achieving the installation of the majority of large key equipment. This puts us on track to complete the construction by the end of 2021, after which start-up and production will commence. We are proud to see already the substantial benefits that our investment is bringing to the Podari region and look forward to seeing its impact increase further once the plant is fully staffed and operating at full capacity, said Christian Librera, VP and Head of Business Line Biofuels and Derivatives at Clariant.

Once operational, the plant will process around 250 000 tonnes of locally sourced wheat straw per year into 50 000 tonnes of cellulosic ethanol. This is an advanced, sustainable, and carbon-neutral biofuel that can readily be blended into conventional fuel and be used in today’s car infrastructure.

Clariant’s sunliquid plant will use co-products from the process for the generation of energy with the goal of making the plant independent from fossil energy sources.

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