Dong Energy, a leading Nordic energy group headquartered in Denmark, plans to invest DKK 130 m (USD 22.1 m) in a 2G bioethanol test plant at Skærbækværket, a power plant located in Fredericia, Jutland. Dong will establish a separate company, Inbicon, to develop the necessary technology. The energy group has invited Statoil and Novozymes to be investment partners in the DKK 300 m (USD 51 m) test plant, which will produce bioethanol from straw.
Dong Energy's long-term objective is to have the world's first commercial 2G bioethanol plant ready to start production by 2012. It is estimated that it will cost around DKK 1 bn (USD 170 m) and could be placed in Kalundborg, Zealand.
Knud Pedersen, director of R&D at Dong comments: "If everything goes well, we will be ready according to schedule with the full scale refinery, which converts straw into petrol. Denmark can then start exporting the new technology to the rest of the world."
At Copenhagen University Professor Claus Felby, who conducts research in bioethanol, estimates the potential for Danish system exports of 2G technology to be between DKK 40 [USD 6.8 bn] and DKK 50 bn [USD 8.5 bn]. "It requires that we exploit the opportunity and invest in the technology. This is one of Denmark's great chances."
The news was reported by national daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende and on Dong Energy's website.