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Koehler Group takes majority stake in Zollikofer Group to secure biomass

In Germany, paper and energy group Koehler Holding SE & Co. KG (Koehler Group), together with biomass producer and supplier Zollikofer Group, have announced that Koehler Group subsidiary Koehler Renewable Energy GmbH will acquire a 60 percent majority stake in the Zollikofer Group in order to ensure the long-term supply of raw materials for its biomass power plants. Subject to regulatory approval the transaction, the value of which has not been disclosed is expected to be completed in July 2021.

A Zollikofer Group biomass processing plant in Kehl-Auenheim, Germany (photo courtesy Koehler Group).

The Koehler Group has set a goal of producing more energy from renewable sources than is required for its paper production operations by 2030 – the “Koehler promise for 2030”, forming Koehler Renewable Energy (KRE) in 2012.

Since then, KRE has implemented numerous renewable energy projects throughout Europe within wind energy, photovoltaics, hydroelectric power, and combined heat and power (CHP).

In addition, the family-run enterprise recently announced that it would be converting its coal-fired CHP plant at its Oberkirch paper mill location in Germany to biomass as part of its sustainability strategy.

Large-scale biomass supplier

According to a statement, this majority acquisition should ensure the long-term provision of sustainable biomass for its existing- and planned fleet of biomass-fired power plants enabling Koehler Group to keep its “2030 promise.”

The group already owns multiple woodyards for making chips for biomaterials and thermal energy in order to ensure that it can supply its biomass power plants with regional fuels.

This joint venture will ensure that we have the required amount of fuel for our biomass power plants in the long term. We have found a dependable and vital partner in Zollikofer, and they are not only a family business like us but have also pursued ambitious long-term recycling and waste-to-energy targets, said Kai M. Furler, CEO of Koehler Group.

Founded in 1966 in Bad Wurzach, Germany, Zollikofer Group has grown into an international large-scale supplier of processing, treatment, trade, and logistics services for wood and wood products – especially sawmill byproducts, bark products, reclaimed wood, and biomass used for recycling and thermal energy.

This joint venture with Koehler will make our plans more reliable when it comes to selling our biomass and will enable us to grow more in the future as a result, said Wilfried Zollikofer, CEO of Zollikofer.

The Zollikofer brand will remain on the market, while the Koehler Energy Group will see its annual revenue increase more than EUR 100 million and staff to over 300 people.

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