Value Creation at Tofte
In 2015 a new venture started in Tofte, in the Hurum Municipality, Norway, when Statkraft purchased an industrial site. This site, formerly owned by Sødra, had been used for cellulose production from 1897 to 2013.
Statkraft’s objective for the site is to build a second-generation sustainable biodiesel production facility. This facility would provide fuel for the transportation sector using raw renewable materials from Norwegian forests.
Statkraft plans to use the area to establish small enterprises which could form an industrial cluster focusing on biofuel production.
Silva Green Fuel
In 2015 Statkraft and Sødra formed Silva Green Fuel. Statkraft is the majority owner by one percent. Silva Green Fuel will build a demonstration plant at Tofte with the objective of producing advanced (second generation) biofuel from forest feedstock. Construction will start in February 2018 and completion is scheduled for 2019.
The goal is to start building a commercial facility at Tofte towards the end of 2020. Silva Green Fuel plans to renovate one of the remaining buildings, making a pilot plant for technological testing.
All plans for Silva Green Fuel are dependent on investment decisions made by the company’s owners.
Currently, woodchip production is the most profitable activity in this area. Timber from Østlandet is delivered to Tofte. First it is dried in the harbour area and then is processed into woodchips to be sold to Denmark, among others.
Administration for Statkraft Biomass takes place in both Tofte and Statkraft’s commercial office in London.
Woodchip production is a relatively simple and reliable technology. At Tofte, timber can easily be stored on location where the old factory buildings were. Mobile machines make the woodchips which are then loaded on boats for shipping to customers.
Timber, used for woodchip production, is transported by trucks and ships. Statkraft Biomass prefers using cargo ships because they can take on larger volumes and sea transport also cuts down on road traffic in and around Tofte. Since the beginning of production in April, a total of 34,000 tons of timber has been transported, 17,000 tons of that amount by sea.
Statkraft Industrial Area
The original cellulose factory has been disassembled and sent to Vietnam. In addition, 180,000 tons of concrete and 110,000 tons of steel have been removed. This has been by far the largest cleaning job done in Norway in recent times.
Biofuel cuts CO2 emissions Second generation biofuels based on raw material from renewable forests will work together with electric cars to make a considerable contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions from the transportation sector.
In contrast to many other countries, the power sector in Norway is emission-free. Therefore, we need to look to other areas to continue cutting emissions and the authorities are encouraging the increased use of biofuels in Norway. Statkraft is committed to finding the best mix of technology and profitability for the production of these biofuels.
As the largest producer of clean energy in Europe, Statkraft continually looks for new business opportunities within renewable energy. Biofuel represents an appealing business opportunity as biofuel from wood can be a significant source of renewable energy.
Wood appears to be the best raw material for biofuel. Because industrial forestry in Norway is declining we think that access to raw material for biofuel in the future will be good.
The future of biofuel will be important for most transport sectors, from private cars to heavy transport, maritime shipping and air transit. In order for this sector to show a decrease in submissions, it will need a climate neutral fuel in combination with increased electrification.
Norway has a long tradition of forestry and water power. Building on this tradition, Statkraft had formed a solid foundation for the development of second generation biofuel. Through the formation of Silva Green Fuel AS with Sødra, we have combined Statkraft’s broad competence within the field of renewable energy and Sødra’s experience in forest based bioenergy.
The cooperation between Sødra and Statkraft started in 2009 with a successful enterprise, Statkraft Sødra Vindkraft AB. Sødra and several large forestry companies in Sweden have a growing interest in biofuel produced from renewable resources due to the goal of having a transport sector free of fossil fuels in 2030.
Wealth creation and positive repercussions Tofte is an ideal location for future biofuel production. Because it has the infrastructure to handle processing of large quantities of wood, a large industrial site located centrally in Østlandet as well as a functioning deep-water harbour for shipping.
The planning for the biofuel industry is aligned with strict environmental requirements put in place by the authorities. Regrettably, it is not possible to avoid the increased activity that industrial business generates. However, a future facility will not have the same volume of the previous factory and production will generate less noise and smell. Raw materials will need to be transported, but the quantities will be not be the same as the cellulose production.
Our wish is to benefit the inhabitants of Tofte through increased value creation and making positive repercussions for the whole community. While our plans are not on the scale of the previous industry, the biofuel production will require both staffing and external services. Our hope is that our future activity will interest other industries in the area and that a sustainable cluster of industries will come in and around Tofte.