Green light for biomass power plant at Norske Skog’s Golbey paper mill


The green light has been given for the construction of a waste wood power plant at the Norske Skog paper mill in Golbey, eastern France. The Green Valley Energie joint venture, which will build and operate the plant, announced the successful conclusion of financing negotiations. The shareholders of Green Valley Energie are Norske Skog and Veolia, each holding 10 per cent of the joint venture, with the financial investor Pearl Infrastructure Capital holding the remaining 80 per cent.

According to Norske Skog, the plant will be the largest cogeneration plant in France. Start-up is planned for September 2024. Once completed, the plant will have an electrical output of 200 GWh that will be fed into the national grid. The 700 GWh of heat produced by the plant each year is to be used by the paper manufacturer as process heat and steam in its paper mill.

The material burned in the biomass power plant will consist of up to 230,000 tonnes of waste wood and approximately 20,000 tonnes of residues from paper production.

Veolia reported that the plant will use class B waste wood – coated or otherwise treated wood, e.g. from old furniture and demolition projects -, most of which will come from the neighbouring regions of Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne. Norske Skog will be responsible for the secure supply of raw materials to the plant. Veolia will operate and maintain the power plant and the biomass fuel processing platform for 19 years.

The waste wood processing technology will be provided by the French company Sera Energie. The biomass boiler and turbine for the power plant will be built by Aalborg Energie Technik. The construction work will be carried out by Eiffage.

An alternative to fossil fuels

«The biomass boiler will ensure a stable, long-term supply of cost-competitive and 100 percent renewable steam as an alternative to fossil energy sources like natural gas, shielding us from increasingly volatile energy markets,» says Sven Ombudstvedt, CEO of Norske Skog. «We are delighted that the joint venture now is fully financed and ready to commence construction.  This will significantly strengthen the competitiveness of our Golbey plant, supporting Norske Skog’s strategy of becoming a leading independent supplier of recycled containerboard» comments Tore Hansesætre, Senior Vice President of Strategic Projects at Norske Skog.

«Veolia is once again positioning itself as one of the main partners of manufacturers in their ecological transformation,» says Jean-François Nogrette, general manager of the group’s French operations in the field of environmental services. «We are very proud of this project, which will help strengthen the decarbonisation of the region and develop new clean and local energy capacities».