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BTG-BTL hands over Empyro pyrolysis plant to Twence

In the Netherlands, biomass technology developers BTG-BTL has announced that effective January 1, 2019, the Empyro pyrolysis plant in Hengelo will be taken over by municipal energy utility Twence Holding B.V. The parties will continue working closely together to further develop the plant and explore new sustainable initiatives.

Empyro, a 25 MWth biomass to pyrolysis oil, green steam, and energy plant, will become part of Twence effective January 1, 2019on 1 January 2019. Gerhard Muggen (right), Director of BTG-BTL and Empyro passing on the proverbial relay baton to Marc Kapteijn, Director of Twence. The parties will continue working closely together to further develop the plant and explore new sustainable initiatives (photo courtesy Roy Ensink).

Located in an industrial park in Hengelo, the 25 MWth Empyro BV fast pyrolysis plant began operations in 2015.

BTG-BTL has developed unique technology for the production of pyrolysis oil. We intend to roll-out this technology on a global scale and thus contribute to the energy transition. The Empyro plant is the first plant in the world that has been realised on a commercial scale. This plant demonstrates that this technology is successful. However, it is not BTG-BTL’s aim to produce oil itself. We are therefore happy with this takeover and that we can continue to use Empyro’s name as a successful reference. Twence has extensive knowledge of large-scale production processes and wants to invest and scale up. Our ‘baby’ is in good hands and we will be looking together at the processing of roadside grass, a waste stream that is difficult to process, into pyrolysis oil. Everyone will then do what they are good at and we will join forces, said Gerhard Muggen.

Marc Kapteijn, Director of Twence, a renewable energy and waste management utility owned by fourteen municipalities in Twente also looks forward to a successful continued cooperation.

Twence focuses on the recovery of raw materials and the production of renewable energy. We are happy to add this unique plant, which produces the same proportion of renewable energy as the energy requirement of 8 000 households, to our portfolio. The joint development of new sustainable initiatives also provides regional strength in realising the sustainability goals. We will take great steps together to reduce the use of fossil fuels, said Marc Kapteijn.

Twence will continue to do business on the same footing and welcomes all Empyro employees as of January. Annemieke Traag, Executive for Energy, Environment, and Europe of Provincie Overijssel, is also pleased over the agreement.

As the provincial authorities of Overijssel, we are working – together with our partners – towards achieving 20 percent renewable energy in 2023, and an energy neutral province in 2050. Innovation is a significant aspect of the transition to renewable energy. As a province and Energy Fund Overijssel, we – together with the initiators and fellow shareholders – stuck our necks out at the time to put the financing in place. The fact that the market is now interested in operating the pyrolysis plant means that our resources have done their job and can be used again to invest in other projects. We congratulate both BTG-BTL and Twence with this successful takeover and look forward to the further development of pyrolysis as announced by both companies, Annemieke Traag said.

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