Dutch utility Eneco pulls out of biomass investment
London, 13 August (Argus) — Dutch utility Eneco is selling its stake in a planned 150,000 t/yr wood pellet manufacturing plant in Vietnam.
Eneco, which initiated the project in 2010, decided to pull out as an operational partner in favour of becoming sales agents for the plant, according to Eneco biomass chief Paul Hendrix.
“The board decided that this was not our core business plan, so we are in the ongoing process of selling our stake to another interested party” Hendrix said. “We will act as more of an offtaker or exclusive selling agent to the plant's production volumes rather than managing the operation of the plant.”
But Eneco is not concerned about security of supply after its decision to sell its stake. “We were never going to use all volumes for our own consumption,” Hendrix said. “We would sell the majority to other buyers, and this is still the case.”
Eneco has no further plans for biomass production investment, deciding instead to partner with companies with upstream positions, according to Hendrix.
The plant, which will be based in the south of Vietnam, will use woody residues derived from local industries and plantations. The new plant owner is conducting due diligence on the site.
“The plant has a very common project design. All feedstock for the plant is secured and it is based on proven technology, so once the decision is made to begin construction operations will start very quickly,” Hendrix said. “When that will be is up to the new operational partner.”
The utility also scrapped plans for starting up another pellet factory in Brazil with Brazilian wood chip producer Tanac.
Eneco began construction of a 49.9MW biomass-fuelled power plant at the port of Delfzijl in the Netherlands in November last year. The plant, which will come on line in 2013, will consume 300,000 t/yr of locally sourced waste wood chips, which will be delivered by ship, train and lorry. Eneco is planning a further two 25MW facilities, which are expected to be built it Rotterdam and Utrecht.
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