Site Selection Process
The SUNLIQUID Consortium has analysed local conditions of around 20 regions in Eastern Europe in order to identify the most suitable site for building this first-of-its kind commercial flagship plant for the production of cellulosic ethanol. The requirements for the site were manifold. It included ample feedstock availability, a good transport and energy infrastructure, as well as qualified local staff.
The sunliquid® plant will convert about 250,000 tons of cereal straw per year into 50,000 tons of cellulosic ethanol. Therefore, a site in a region with high feedstock potential has been selected. Please click here for more information.
No significant alternative use of straw in the region
Especially in Romania straw is an underutilized resource. Romania does not have a strong dairy or meat production industry thus straw is still regularly burned on the field due to lack of other alternatives. This not only destroys a sustainable raw material source but on the contrary adds air pollution from smoke. For the site selection it was important that the region where the straw is collected has no significant alternative use of straw and that there is little competition for this resource on the local market.
Good transport and energy infrastructure
The biomass that is needed for the process will be collected within a radius of 70 km of the plant. Short transportation distances from the field to the plant will have a share in ensuring the highest possible greenhouse gas savings. A good road and rail infrastructure were critical in the site selection process as it will contribute to an efficient and sustainable collection of the feedstock and distribution of the final product – the cellulosic ethanol. The close vicinity to the Danube River also supports the EU strategy to boost the development of this particular region. Furthermore, the site meets the demands for proper water distribution, and for a sound sewage and natural gas infrastructure.
Good potential to find qualified employees
The sunliquid® plant requires a broad variety of employees: from local farmers and wheat straw suppliers over plant operators and engineers to logistics providers and biofuel distributors. With the University of Craiova in close vicinity who educates and trains its students amongst others in the areas of agriculture, horticulture, chemistry and economics, provides a good pool of qualified staff.
After a multi-step selection process, the SUNLIQUID Consortium identified the southwestern part of Romania as the ideal location for the new flagship plant.