The Green Valley Energie (GVE) joint venture, in which Norske Skog is a 10% minority equity holder, is ready to commence construction of a biomass boiler at the mill site of Norske Skog Golbey, France, following recent completion of debt financing. GVE is a biomass energy plant, which will produce electricity and heat from waste and residue materials. Electricity sale from GVE is ensured through a feed-in tariff contract, while steam will be used for Norske Skog's Golbey mill.
"This energy project is one more milestone in the on-going transition of Norske Skog towards new growth markets and sustainable energy. 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.
The GVE biomass boiler will be the largest cogeneration (generates electricity and heat) plant of its kind in France. It will be commissioned in September 2024 and will produce +200 GWh of electricity and +700 GWh of renewable heat, thus generating CO2 savings of 210,000 tonnes per year and providing electricity equivalent to the consumption of more than 13,000 homes.
The GVE biomass boiler will use 230,000 tonnes of recycled wood and 20,000 tonnes of residues from the industrial process of Norske Skog Golbey annually. PEARL Infrastructure Capital is the majority shareholder of GVE, holding an 80 percent share, while Norske Skog and Veolia hold 10 percent each. The project is financed by a long-term senior bond arranged by PEARL and fully subscribed by Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management’s BRIDGE platform and by La Banque Postale Asset Management.
"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," says Tore Hansesætre, Senior Vice President of Strategic Projects at Norske Skog.
Norske Skog plans to start production of recycled containerboard at Golbey in the fourth quarter of 2023. The construction of the GVE biomass boiler is being carried out by Aalborg Energie Technik for the process installations (boiler and turbine), SERA Energie for the wood handling platform and the Eiffage group for the civil engineering works. The engineering firm SEPOC has been selected to carry out the project management function.