Clariant, a focused, sustainable, and innovative specialty chemical company, continues with the recruitment of future specialists for the sunliquid® cellulosic ethanol plant in Podari, Dolj county.
The local Clariant team is expanding rapidly. Recently, 11 new employees joined the production team, four of them as team leaders that will coordinate the plant production processes in the future. In total, the local Clariant team consists now of 26 people.
The new staff members started their training at the precommercial sunliquid® plant in Straubing, Germany, and have followed an intensive training program in the past few months. In addition, another part of the training process takes place in Romania in collaboration with the University of Craiova, an important and renowned educational center in the region that offers high-level training and, therefore, contributes to the development of a highly qualified workforce. Within the partnership with the University of Craiova, Clariant’s new team members are involved in various projects and benefit from advanced courses in English, Chemistry, and Information Technology (IT).
“The sunliquid® project in Podari is advancing, not only in terms of recruiting and training new staff members but also in terms of the ongoing construction works. On the construction site, several milestones have already been reached, such as the completion of the foundations, as well as the installation of the first large equipment. We are excited that our local team continues to grow with 11 new colleagues on board that benefit from a comprehensive training program in Romania and in Germany. We are constantly progressing in the construction, contributing to the development of the local economy and community”, said Dragos Gavriluta, Project Director sunliquid® Romania.
Once operational, the plant will process approx. 250.000 tons of straw and will produce 50.000 tons of cellulosic ethanol. Cellulosic ethanol is an advanced, truly sustainable, and carbon-neutral biofuel that can readily be used in today’s existing car infrastructure.
The sunliquid® plant is constructed on a 98.000 sqm area observing the highest technological standards while paying close attention to the comfort and life of the local community. The civil constructor is a Romanian company, and the construction works will involve a team of up to 800 workers in the peak phase. Clariant is making good progress with the construction. The construction completion is expected in 2021 and thereafter start-up and production.
The project receives funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program for research, technological development and demonstration under Grant Agreement no. 322386 (FP7 SUNLIQUID) and from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement no. 709606 (BBI LIGNOFLAG).
Clariant is a focused, sustainable, and innovative specialty chemical company based in Muttenz, near Basel/Switzerland. On 31 December 2019, the company employed a total workforce of 17 223. In the financial year 2019, Clariant recorded sales of CHF 4.399 billion for its continuing businesses. The company reports in three business areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis and Natural Resources. Clariant’s corporate strategy is based on five pillars: focus on innovation and R&D, add value with sustainability, reposition portfolio, intensify growth, and increase profitability.
sunliquid® is an innovative biotechnological method for manufacturing cellulosic ethanol from agricultural residues such as cereal straw, corn stover or sugarcane bagasse. In the completely integrated process, highly optimized, raw material-specific biocatalysts decompose cellulose and hemicellulose in high yields under stable processing conditions into fermentable sugar. The process-integrated production of the biocatalysts offers flexibility and reduces production costs. In the next step, an optimized fermentation organism simultaneously converts C5 and C6 into ethanol with high yields and short reaction times. A highly optimized purification process is instrumental in enabling all the energy required for the process to be derived from the process by-products like insoluble lignin. Since July 2012, Clariant has been operating a precommercial plant in Straubing, Germany, which produces up to 1,000 metric tons of cellulosic ethanol every year, confirming technical and economic performance. In September 2018, Clariant broke ground for its first-of-its-kind commercial facility in Podari, Romania, where the construction is currently underway. Clariant licenses its sunliquid® technology platform globally. So far, four license agreements have been executed with renowned industry players in Slovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, and China.