Launch of a unique industrial complex in France to develop a sustainable substitute to coal

Group of people with hard hats, green safety vests and spades planting trees


It combines two installations that contribute to the energy transition by producing 100% renewable energy in a circular economy logic:

  • A biofuel production unit: a biomass fuel for the on-site cogeneration plant, and and the HPCI® black pellet, a new generation biofuel for industrial use. These pellets will replace coal for about 130,000 inhabitants’ heating.
  • A cogeneration plant that produces both electricity (90 GWh per year, ie domestic consumption of 30,000 inhabitants) and thermal energy (130GWh per year in the form of steam and hot water) to feed the biofuel production unit, as well as the ADM Chamtor plant located on this Bio-economy cluster.

The commissioning of the cogeneration plant is scheduled for June 2020, that for the production of HPCI® black pellets from October 2020.

The use of these wood pellets, the HPCI® black pellet a new generation biofuel, under Européenne de Biomasse’s license, represents a double innovation:

  • Its production by a steam cracking process (wood processing, subjected to high temperature and high pressure). This process, which gives it its dark color, gives it a higher energy potential, a very high resistance to water and a limited dust content. These properties make it directly usable as a substitute for coal, supporting the same logistics (external storage) and burning in the same boilers.
  • The creation of a whole new coal substitute industrial sector to provide renewable energy, local and environmentally friendly for the equivalent, here, of 130 000 inhabitants heating.

This project, led by long-term committed partners, is a new model of virtuous, inclusive and sustainable economic development, designed to benefit the energy transition and the prosperity of local ecosystems. Representing an investment of 100 million euros, these facilities will produce locally green electricity, thermal energy and biofuel as a replacement for coal.

In compliance with the highest environmental requirements (supply of clean wood, no smell emitted, water contained in the wood used for the industrial process, valorization of the ashes of combustion for the surrounding lands), the project will contribute to the reduction of nearly 230 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year over the next decades, equivalent to emissions of 145,000 cars. This project contributes directly to the achievement of the sustainable development goals set by the UN and in particular the fight against climate change and its impacts.

Based on the circular economy model, this new production site also contribute to the creation 350 employs that can’t be relocated. Indeed, the Pomacle site will employ 40 people and its activities will contribute to the development of 310 jobs in the biomass industry in the Grand Est region.

Meridiam, Européenne de Biomasse and tBa,que des territoires have created a dedicated company, FICA HPCI, to ensure the project ownership, management and operation of these facilities. The three partners hold respectively 80.5%, 5% and 14.5% of FICA HPCI.

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