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Sep 18, 2019

Flagship plant received the cornerstone

On Tuesday, 17 September, Graanul Invest sub-company Graanul Biotech laid the cornerstone for wood processing flagship plant.

The purpose of the flagship plant, which will be constructed on the territory of Graanul Invest in Estonia is development and production of biomaterials from low-quality wood residues. In result of temperature, pressure and mechanical force, the innovative technology of the plant splits wood fibers into basic elements – high-purity lignin and wood sugars, which enable use in several industries.

Research and development manager of Graanul Invest Group Peep Pitk provided an overview, how the idea and search of technologies reached construction and cornerstone ceremony in three and a half years. „For years, we have searched a technology, which would provide maximum efficiency coefficient in wood processing, while having as low environmental impact and ecological footprint as possible. Today we believe that the selected technology provides these expected solutions, but we will see the real results only when the flagship plant is completed and processes are operating,“ said Pitk. According to his words, the estimated time of completion of the first stage of the flagship plant is the first half of 2020.

The SWEETWOODS project supporting the construction of the flagship plant has received research financing, which is one of the largest in Estonia and one of the most influential in the EU – Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking is supporting the project with 20.96 million euros.

Technology licence of the flagship plant comes from Sweetwater Energy, engineering  is done by De Smet Engineers & Contractors from Belgium, special parts of the preliminary project and main project were designed by Sweco Projekt AS, and constructive design of the production building was drafted by Maru Ehitus AS. Main contractor of the construction is Maru Ehitus AS.

The capsule was set in the cornerstone of the plant by member of the management board of Graanul Invest Raul Kirjanen, research and development manager Peep Pitk and Järva rural municipality mayor Rait Pihelgas.

The time capsule included a cup with high purity lignin, pre-fractionated woodchips that are raw material for the plant, business plan of the project, foundation articles of Graanul Biotech and the newspaper of the day.

Peep Pitk, Raul Kirjanen, Rait Pihelgas.