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Mariposa Biomass Project granted Conditional User Permit

Swedish biomass gasification technology developer Cortus Energy AB has announced that the Mariposa County Planning Commission in California, United States (US) has recently granted a Conditional User Permit (CUP) for the small-scale biopower plant in Mariposa that Cortus Energy along with partners is developing. The Mariposa Biomass Project (MBP) aims to use local wood materials to generate power using Cortus's proprietary "WoodRoll" biomass gasification technology.

The recently inaugurated Cortus Energy biomass gasification facility at Höganäs AB’s steelworks in Höganäs, Sweden. The plant provides a clean syngas to replace fossil gas used at the plant (photo courtesy Cortus Energy).

According to a statement, the Mariposa County Planning Commission decided to grant Conditional User Permit (CUP) for the Mariposa Biomass Project (MBP) on July 17. Cortus Energy, together with a local group, Mariposa Biomass Project, has been developing the conditions for the project that was first announced in 2016.

In March 2017, the California Energy Commission approved an investment support of US$5 million to demonstrate new high-efficiency bio-power technology. The application of CUP has been developed by MBP in collaboration with Cortus Energy. CUP is the single most important state and affects a number of areas, including a comprehensive environmental impact assessment.

The project already received CUP in February 2018 but the decision could be appealed and an appeal was made by a local interest group. The meeting and decision by the Mariposa County Planning Commission on July 17 mean that the CUP is now valid and that the appeal has been rejected.

Now that CUP is ready, we can now proceed with activities to realize the project in Mariposa. We are grateful for the good cooperation with Mariposa Biomass Project and their extensive work to develop the project. It is up to us to take the project further, including securing fuel supply and financing with our local partner Phoenix Energy. Our goal is to make an investment decision around next year, such a decision implies that the Höganäs facility in Sweden is showing good results, commented Rolf Ljunggren, CEO of Cortus Energy.

The plant will gasify local forest raw materials with the producer gas to be fed into gas engines that generate electricity for the grid. The price of the input electricity is governed by a fixed 20-year feed-in rate. The plant is based on the recently commissioned WoodRoll plant in Höganäs, Sweden supplemented with gas engines and has an installed electrical capacity of approximately 2.5 MW.

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