After completing the construction and starting commissioning in October 2021, Bilfinger Tebodin keeps supporting Clariant on its largest project in Romania so far. Since November 2017, when the EPCM agreement has been signed, Bilfinger Tebodin was engaged in engineering, project and construction management of Clariant’s flagship biofuels plant in Podari, Romania.

Jorg Gerritsen, Project manager at Bilfinger Tebodin, comments: ‘Together we achieved state reception and mechanically completed the project. Currently, we are handing the project over to Clariant to further manage the commissioning and start-up stage. This phase is expected to be completed early 2022.’

The biofuel plant was built on a 10-hectare site by over 900 construction workers at the peak of the workload. Apart from engineering, Bilfinger Tebodin provided project and construction management services, including cost and contract management, planning, quality control and supervision services.

"For Clariant, this was the first investment in Romania. In this context, the establishment of a completely new organizational structure, the search for a suitable site and the complex approval process were the greatest challenges. Bilfinger's project experience in Romania was crucial for a successful implementation," says Bernd Hirschberg, Project Director at Clariant’s Business Line Biofuels & Derivatives.

Vasile Macarov, Construction Manager at Bilfinger Tebodin, stated, ‘The workflow and high health and safety standards were managed by a joint team of Clariant and Bilfinger Tebodin. Due to this precise management, the site achieved over 2 million man-hours without an LTI (lost time incident), which is an exceptional safety record. The close cooperation and partnership of Clariant Romania and Bilfinger Tebodin was the key to the success of the project.’

The completed construction is an important step for the commercial deployment of the sunliquid® technology and thus supports Clariant’s sunliquid® licensing business strategy. When fully operational, the facility processes approx. 250,000 tons of straw to produce 50,000 tons of cellulosic ethanol annually. Contracts with more than 300 local farmers have been signed to ensure the supply of the necessary feedstock.

Herbert Mayer, Senior Project Engineering Manager at Clariant: ‘Together with Bilfinger Tebodin we have reached several milestones throughout this project and we are proud to already see the substantial benefits that our investment is bringing to the region.