Valmet To Deliver The World’s First BioTracTM Steam Explosion System For Black Pellet Production In France


almet has agreed with FICAP on the delivery of the world’s first continuous steam explosion system, BioTrac, for production of black pellets1. The black pellet plant will be part of an existing large industrial area, located in the Region of Champagne-Ardenne in France. The integration of the BioTrac system and plant will be conducted by De Smet Engineers and Contractors (DSEC) of Belgium.

The order is included in Valmet’s second quarter of 2018 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed. The start-up of the black pellet production plant is planned for 2020.

The pellet plant will produce both white and black pellets and has an annual capacity of 120 000 ton/year of pellets. The black pellets produced will be used mainly by district heating network operators and coal-fired power plants as a substitute to fossil fuels. This project will, therefore, contribute to the phase-out from fossil fuels and enable the production of 100% renewable energy.

“FICAP is our first industrial project, a concrete showcase of our know-how and mastery of biomass industrialization processes and technology, responding to a promising emerging market of the HPCI® Black Pellet. Its success will allow the global roll-out of a new biofuel industrial sector in France, Europe and the rest of the world,” says Jean Baptiste Marin, CEO of Européenne de Biomasse.

“Valmet has since 2013 focused on the commercialization of the BioTrac process and we are very happy to finally see the first project to be realized. This is the first of its kind of a continuous steam explosion system for this application. We see a great future in this end product and process. We strongly believe this important project will pave the way for many more projects for supply of black pellets not only in France but also in other European countries. We also see a growing demand in markets such as Japan,” says Mattias Erixon, Manager Sales, Biomass Conversion at Valmet.

About the customer FICAP

FICAP is a renewable company owned by the investment funds Meridiam and Caisse des Depots associated to Europenne de Biomasse who developed the project and the HPCI-Black Pellet technology.

Meridiam was founded in 2005 and is an independent investment firm specializing in the development, financing, and management of long-term and sustainable public infrastructure projects. With offices in New York, Paris, Toronto, Luxembourg, Istanbul, Vienna, Addis Ababa, and Dakar, Meridiam currently manages 6.2 billion Euros of assets, and more than 60 projects under development, construction, or in operation to date.

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and its subsidiaries constitute a public group serving the public interest and the country’s economic development. The Group carries out missions of public interest in support of the public policies implemented by the State and local government bodies, and may also exercise competitive activities. Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations is a long-term investor and contributes to the development of enterprises in line with its own proprietorial interests.

Européenne de Biomasse defined the industrial design of the HPCI Black pellet and developed the FICA-HPCI project, the first industrial plant that will be reproduced as an industrial field in France, Europe and in the world.

For further information, please contact:
Mattias Erixon, Manager Sales, Biomass Conversion, Valmet, tel. +46 70 610 5727

Corporate Communications

Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of process technologies, automation, and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. We aim to become the global champion in serving our customers.

Valmet’s strong technology offering includes pulp mills, tissue, board, and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bioenergy production. Our advanced services and automation solutions improve the reliability and performance of our customers’ processes and enhance the effective utilization of raw materials and energy.

Valmet’s net sales in 2017 were approximately EUR 3.1 billion. Our more than 12,000 professionals around the world work close to our customers and are committed to moving our customers’ performance forward – every day. Valmet’s head office is in Espoo, Finland and its shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

Read more:,


Processing of personal data

1) Black pellets can be produced from all lignocellulosic materials and can be used as a renewable fuel for replacing coal in heat and power generation

Black pellets are durable and more moisture resistant than white pellets
There is a significant carbon dioxide emission reduction over fossil fuels (~90% reduction)
Black pellets decrease both CAPEX and OPEX in logistics compared to e.g. white pellets

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *