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Project aims to improve investment terms for new Swedish biorefineries

The Swedish Bioenergy Association (Svebio) has recently announced that it has been granted SEK 1.4 million (≈ EUR 136 000) in funding from Sweden's Innovation Agency (Vinnova) to develop proposals for facilitating investments in new Swedish biorefineries. This will lead to concrete instruments to realize the potential of forest residues, primarily, for biofuels and biojet fuels.

The Swedish Bioenergy Association (Svebio) has been granted SEK 1.4 million (≈ EUR 136 000) in funding from Sweden’s Innovation Agency (Vinnova) to develop proposals for facilitating investments in new Swedish biorefineries.
“The goal is to propose concrete instruments so that Sweden can build large-scale production of biofuels. If we succeed, airlines will be able to refuel aircraft with Swedish biofuels in the near future, and we could see a similar development in shipping,” said Tomas Ekbom, Programme Director at Svebio.

Within the framework of the project, Svebio will also develop proposals for fossil-free instruments in shipping.

We will identify the risks facing investors in Swedish biorefineries and suggest how these risks can be managed and minimized. The goal is to propose concrete instruments so that Sweden can build large-scale production of biofuels. If we succeed, airlines will be able to refuel aircraft with Swedish biofuels in the near future, and we could see a similar development in shipping, said Tomas Ekbom, Programme Director at Svebio.

Sweden is leading Europe in replacing fossil fuels with biofuels in transportation. The use has doubled in just three years – in 2017, the share of biofuels in transportation was over 20 percent. However, 85 percent of the biofuels used are imported, and therefore it is important to increase domestic production.

Several companies are developing forest raw materials technologies for high-quality biofuels, and others are investigating opportunities for commercial large-scale production in biorefineries.

The Swedish Bioenergy Association (Svebio) is the project coordinator together with the biofuel companies Energifabriken and Sekab, the forest companies Holmen and Södra Skogsägarna, the project developers PyroCell and Porcupine, technology developer RenFuel as well as the Swedish Association for Road Transport Companies (Sveriges Åkeriföretag). The project’s budget is SEK 1.4 million and ends in February 2020.

Svebio will use its BioDriv network with approximately 60 companies and organizations with 130 people promoting biofuels, covering all parts of the value chain from raw materials to manufacturers and suppliers to users such as transport companies and vehicle developers as well as investors and stakeholders.

The association is also involved in a new large project funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, initiated by Luleå University of Technology (LTU) together with Svebio and national and international airline actors. This preparatory study will show that it works in practice to produce biofuels based on Swedish forest residues.

Within a couple of years, hopefully, commercial flights in Sweden will begin test flights on aviation fuel from this Piteå project, based on Swedish forest residues. It is pleasing that Svebio, together with research and industry, can contribute in these two projects so that a first commercial facility can be built, said Gustav Melin, CEO of Svebio.

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