UK biomass refinery developer Sainc Energy Ltd (Sainc) has agreed a definitive supply contract for 180,000 tonnes/year of local olive tree prunings for its planned biorefinery at Villaralto, Spain.

The biorefinery in Cordoba province, Andalusia, would produce second-generation ethanol alongside crude lignin oil (CLO), Dutch start-up firm Vertoro said on 30 September.

Vertoro would be buying the CLO and has also developed the facility’s technology, which mixes solid lignin and solvent (methanol or another polar solvent) to produce char and CLO, which can be used as a feedstock for chemicals, materials and fuels.

“For the ethanol off-take, Sainc is currently in discussions with BP, Shell and Total,” Vertoro said.

The facility was expected to enter production by third quarter 2022, Vertoro said.

Sainc said the Villaralto biorefinery was its first in an expected series.

“We have three other sites under development in Spain and are exploring two large sites in the USA. Our biorefineries will convert residues from forestry operations into renewable transportation fuels and platform products for downstream chemicals.”