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Arbaflame signs LoI to help Romania phase out coal with ArbaCore pellets

Norway-headed advanced pellet producer and process developer Arbaflame AS has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Romania's Ministry of Energy to replace coal used at Paroșeni power plant with Arbaflame's proprietary advanced wood pellets, ArbaCore. The long-term ambition of the collaboration is to build an ArbaCore pellet plant in Romania and replace coal in all remaining power plants.

Romania’s energy minister Virgil Popescu (left) and Bjørn H. Knappskog, CEO of Arbaflame, signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) on November 4, 2021, with the aim of cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at the Paroseni Power plant, then doing the same at the rest of the country’s coal power plants. Testing will begin in the first half of 2022 (photo courtesy Arbaflame).

Arbaflame was founded in 2005 and has developed a patented technology to produce advanced wood pellets that share some of the properties of coal but which burn with a significantly reduced amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Called ArbaCore, they have been tested and verified at 14 energy plants operating in Europe, Japan, the USA, and Canada.

This is a historic agreement for the Romanian Energy System and for the Jiu Valley. This partnership implies massive decarbonization because we will replace the burnt coal in Paroșeni Power Plant with sustainably produced pellets with a low rate of CO2 emissions. I stated that Romania needs to reach ambitious targets in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and we will achieve them, said Minister Virgil Popescu.

ArbaCore will be a full-fledged green coal substitute product and can be transported, stored, and handled in the same way as coal. The collaboration will involve replacing the coal that underlies the operation of the power plant with patented Arbacore pellets produced by Arbaflame, and, in the long run, includes the construction of a plant to produce these pellets in Romania.

These plants will use sustainable biomass resources, which Arbaflame says will help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 90 percent.

In addition, not only do we provide heat and electricity in a sustainable way, but we also bring a mouthful of economical oxygen to the Jiu Valley, because in Paroșeni a factory where these pellets will be produced will be built. The surplus will be exported, so Romania will have a double benefit, Minister Popescu said.

Arbaflame has also helped other countries with the energy transition. In 2015, Arbaflame phased its pellets into the Thunder Bay power station in Ontario (ON), Canada.

In 2019, the company signed a supply contract with Engie to supply ArbaCore pellets to Engie’s Maasvlakte power plant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands which will receive deliveries from ArbaOne in Kongsvinger, Norway.

We are very pleased to confirm our common intention to convert the coal power plants in Romania to use clean energy. Romania has a long-term plan to replace all coal consumption, and this is completely in line with Arbaflame’s vision: to accelerate coal phasing-out in Europe, said Bjørn H. Knappskog, CEO of Arbaflame.

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