The Redefinery project, which was started in 2014, is one of the three themes of the Biobased Delta. Redefinery is a joint initiative by the Biobased Delta, BE-Basic, Biobased Industries (BBI) and the Biorenewables Business Platform (BBP). The aim of Redefinery is to realise the large-scale refining of lignocellulose into sugars, wood and energy. Lignin can, for example, be obtained from lignocellulose in wood. After that the sugars and lignin are converted into biofuel, bio-energy, biochemicals and biomaterials. This refining takes place in one of the seaports in the south-western Netherlands.
Every year, between 0.5 and 1 million tons of wood (pellets) are needed for the biorefining process. These are imported from abroad (e.g. from the United States, Canada and the Baltic States). The Netherlands is, in fact, too small to produce all this itself.
That is why it is important that the biorefinery is located in a seaport, because the pellets are brought in by ship. It is also essential, from the logistical and financial perspectives, that the sugars are processed on (or nearby) the biorefinery site. This is another reason why it is advisable to locate the refinery in a seaport. Discussions with three major port authorities revealed that the biorefinery was welcome in any seaport in the south-western Netherlands. What is more, the refinery would fit in well with the existing infrastructure.
A positive outlook
Improvements have been made to the first version of the Redefinery model. Redefinery-2 is the new technology model and was used to create a business case. This business case is heavily dependent on the prices of wood pellets, sugars and energy.
Various companies are interested in investing, designing, building and operating the biorefinery. Discussions are being held with these parties to determine who will become the operator of the biorefinery. The feasibility of the refinery is also being jointly investigated.
From the sustainability perspective, the biorefinery must lead to a CO2 saving, more jobs and a boost for the economy. The total supply chain has to emit less CO2 than existing production methods. CO2 analyses are currently being carried out to see whether this is possible.
The aim is for the biorefinery to become operational in 2021-2022. Redefinery is therefore in full swing.