Meridiam has partnered with Européenne de Biomasse (EDB) – a French company specialized in the biomass and pellet sectors – and Caisse des Dépôts to develop and co-lead a long-term investment in an “integrated biomass” project.
The project consists in developing, implementing, financing, operating and maintaining two related facilities, financed separately:
The project is promoting circular economy as COGECAB will operate using the wood feedstock produced by FICAP, which, in turn, will use energy from COGECAB for its pellets production process.
FICAP is enabling the local production of black and white pellets. Black pellets can be used as a cleaner substitute to coal, which is being phased-out in France.
FICAP was sized to address the demand from the district heating sector, starting with Paris network which is still relying on coal for 14% of its heat production and, more widely, coal consumers in France and mainland Europe. The project could indeed also enable the partial conversion of thermal power plants to biomass.
In Partial Operation
ESG/SDG Key facts
This project will contribute to achieving the goals set by the French Energy Programme Law as it will provide solutions to replace fossil fuels by renewable energy sources to produce steam, heat and electricity. Black pellets, having high calorific value, will be used mainly by district heating networks and thermal power plants as a substitute to coal. This project will therefore contribute to the phasing out of coal in France. Emissions from pellets are also cleaner due to the reduced volume of waste elements and ashes, which are the biggest health and environmental threats associated with coal.
The project is processing c. 370 kMt of wood per year, COGECAB processing 130 kMt, and FICAP treating 240 kMt, mainly from spruce wood contaminated by bark beetle making it unfit to other industries.
The project also contributes to a circular economy: the wood chips will be used to fuel the biomass cogeneration plant whose heat is used in the pellet production process and in a neighbouring factory transforming heat.
On the social front, 50% of the project’s workforce is made of previously unemployed.
A crowdlending campaign was launched in November 2019 and was closed at €3.5m (vs. an initial target at €2.5m) with 2,200 participants, including 22% from the Grand Est region. This local financing contributed to further anchor the project in its local territory.
Plant in Europe
Alternative to coal
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