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China’s CNE wins contracts to build biorefinery projects in Hungary

China New Energy selected for contracts with Visontai and Helvéciai to develop two biorefineries to convert corn feedstock into ethanol

Ethanol plant
Together, the two biorefinery plants will convert corn feedstock into 450,000 litres of ethanol per day

The Board of China New Energy (CNE) has won contracts to develop two biorefinery projects in Hungary. The engineering and technology solutions provider to the bioenergy sector has won the contracts to develop the biorefinery projects, which will convert corn feedstock into ethanol, with Hungary firms Visontai Bioetanol Fejlesztő Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság ("Visontai") and Helvéciai Biouzemanyag Termelö es Kereskedo Kft. ("Helvéciai").

The combined value of the contracts to CNE are EUR 72m (approximately GBP 60m) over a four year period. As part of the tendering process, CNE has already completed the design for both the projects. The first biorefinery project is expected to be complete within two years, entering full commercial production in 2016. The progress of construction will be subject to Viscontai and Helvécia completing their fundraising milestones, CNE said.

The first project for Visontai will convert corn feedstock into 150,000 litres per day of ethanol. The second project for Helvéciai will convert corn feedstock into 300,000 litres of ethanol per day. CNE will supply its proprietary pre-treatment, fermentation, distillation and dehydration technology to the project and local project partners will complete the civil engineering and construction of the biorefineries. Visontai and Helvéciai will operate the biorefineries and CNE will provide long-term training, support and maintenance.

Mr Yu, chairman of CNE, said: "These new plants will be some of the largest operating plants globally. While the market has been very challenging in recent years, we hope that our recent success marks a recovery in the global bioethanol markets and reflects the confidence shown in CNE's advanced technologies.  We are excited by the good progress we are making towards our stated goals and I am committed to keeping shareholders better informed about our progress."

The bioenergy news follows Danish firm Novozymes this week announcing it will supply enzyme technology to the world’s first biomass to glycols biorefinery to be constructed in China.