Innovative Danish bioethanol project abandoned

6. oktober 2016

Plans to build Denmark's first biorefinery in Maabjerg near Holstebro in Central Jutland have now been abandoned. The parties behind the project have now decided not to go ahead with the biorefinery, which was intended to generate green power, heating, biogas and second-generation bioethanol based on by-products from local agriculture.

"It's a great shame that we're now forced to make the tough decision to drop the project. We have an extremely well-designed project, which has been scrutinised from all angles over five years. Now other countries will be driving the development and creating jobs, while Denmark might be importing bioethanol," says Jørgen Udby, Chairman of the Board for Maabjerg Energy Center.

Goodbye to 1,000 jobs

In summer 2014, Maabjerg Energy Center was awarded DKK 293 million in EU funding, and in May, the Danish Government presented plans for a mixture requirement for second-generation bioethanol in petrol, and the MEC consortium recently decided to double its own contribution to the project to a total of DKK 460 million. But there has been a lack of political support to advance the project the final step.

"We needed a green light from politicians to get the final component of the financing in place, including loans with municipal guarantees. Without loan guarantees, the project is no longer financially viable. So Denmark has to wave goodbye to DKK 293 million from the EU, but worst of all, it means losing 1,000 permanent jobs and the possibility of Danish green technology exports," says Jørgen Udby.

Regional and national significance

The project should be viewed as a local project, which could create growth and jobs, and be a platform for advanced bio-economics in Denmark, leading to national benefits in terms of climate and resources and substantial export opportunities.

"In other countries, similar large-scale demonstration plants have received a helping hand in the form of cheap financing in order to be realised. It's also the norm in Denmark for energy plants such as local CHP plants, biogas plants, district heating plants, waste plants and the like to be carried out with municipal loan guarantees," says Jørgen Udby.

Press inquiries:
Jørgen Udby is available for comments by phone +45 51 58 73 10.
Please note that due to travel arrangements mr. Udby will only be available for comments on Thursday 6th October.

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