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Clariant’s investment in Romania represents biggest commitment by an international cooperation in the region of Craiova

Clariant is investing more than EUR 100 million in its first large-scale commercial sunliquid® plant. Moreover, the EU is funding this project with about EUR 50 million. With this significant investment, Clariant and the EU will support the industrial conversion of this predominantly rural region.

When you are travelling through Podari, you can see a lot of remains of old factories. On the other hand, the region offers many advantages for building a plant for the production of cellulosic ethanol: a solid logistics and industrial infrastructure and large amounts of straw. A huge tonnage of straw is unutilized, so the farmers will usually leave it on the field and let it rot, or they will burn it. Now, for the first time, local farmers have the chance to sell their straw and thus significantly increase their income.

During the construction phase of the new plant, about 700 construction workers will be employed from local companies. After completion, the plant is expected to provide around 300 permanent jobs in supporting industries serving the site, and taking care of the transportation and storage of the feedstock. The plant itself will employ a workforce of between 100 and 120. Clariant plans to recruit its workforce locally, and to provide training both in its own laboratories in Planegg near Munich and at the pre-commercial sunliquid® plant in Straubing, Bavaria.

The building of the plant based on the sunliquid® technology will not only boost the local economy in the Craiova area but will also have a big impact on EU level. In order to meet EU goals to decarbonize transport and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, EU regulations require 3.5 percent be advanced biofuels by 2030. The successful large-scale commercial application of the sunliquid® technology will bring the EU one step closer to realizing its goals. Moreover, the produced cellulosic ethanol will provide a competitive and sustainable source of domestic renewable energy for the EU. This will ensure the EU’s energy security and limit its dependence on imported fossil fuels from outside the EU.

Groundbreaking ceremony for the new sunliquid® plant in Craiova/Romania (from left to right): Urs Herren, Ambassador of Swiss Confederation, Claudiu Mares, State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Anton Anton, Minister of Energy, Paula Pîrvănescu, State Secretary at the Ministry of Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Christian Kohlpaintner, Member of the Executive Committee Clariant, Ion Prioteasa, Dolj County Council President, Philippe Mengal, Executive Director BBI JU, Constantin Gheorghita, Mayor of Podari, Oliver Kinkel, Head of Region Europe Clariant, Dragos Gavriluta, Clariant Project Director sunliquid Romania, Markus Rarbach, Head of Business Line Biofuels & Derivatives, Clariant, Martin Vollmer, Chief Technology Officer Clariant (Photo: Clariant)

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