30. Mar 2017

Construction of brand-new biorefinery complex announced at WBM 2017

In a bid to gain a foothold in the market for biobased products, Turkey-based Tükek Holding is building a major biorefinery complex called Biokim at a site in Adana, in Turkey. Site preparation will start in the third quarter of 2017.

mAt the three-day World Bio Markets event held this week in Amsterdam, a family-owned Turkish company called Tükek Holding easily took the prize for the most exciting news: amid the many presentations about the hopes, plans and intentions for the future came the announcement from Tükek about its new, commercial biorefinery project, which is being realized by a new company established for this purpose called Biokim. Other partners and stakeholders in the project include US companies Petron Scientech Inc., a leader in the industrial conversion of renewable ethanol into chemical feedstocks, synthetic chemical company Novomer, and Global Industrial Dynamics, Netherlands-based technology partner specialized in the development and implementation of projects worldwide.

Tütek Holding operates the largest artificial leather plant in Turkey, and the largest suede production facilities in the world. The company launched the Biokim project as a means to respond to increasing customer demand for more sustainable products, said Strategic Planning & Business Development Manager Deniz Arda. “The new project is motivated by a need for expansion, of diversification in the product portfolio,” he explained. “We wanted to branch into renewably-based products, but they had to be market conform and have the right quality level.” By market conform, the company means that the products would need to be self-supporting, produced using continuous and proven processes with a secured offtake.

The result was the decision to build a wholly integrated biobased refinery complex that has long since progressed past the planning stage. As Dennis Chafiâ, Business Development Manager at GI Dynamics, said: “This project is happening. The land was procured last year. The permits have been granted. The basic engineering is due to start in a few weeks and if all goes according to schedule, the EPC phase - which will take 24 to 26 months - will kick off in the fourth quarter of this year.”

Biokim is located at Adana, in Turkey, in a so-called Free Zone area. “It is tax free and duty free,” said Deniz Arda. “Also, there will be utilities and space available for further downstream production facilities.”

All products will be biobased. The plant is designed to handle globally sourced bio-ethanol, which, after being converted to ethylene, will be processed further downstream into bio-polypropiolactone, bio-ethylene oxide, bio-mono ethylene oxide and bio-polyether polyol. State-of-the-art catalyst technology will allow the highest conversion and the highest selectivity of these main products. “The plant will produce 200 kT/a of bio-EO,” said Arda. This can be used, among other things, to produce bio-mono ethylene glycol (bio-MEG), one of the ingredients in bio-PET.
Currently, Biokim is in the process of concluding the longterm feedstock and offtake contracts that need to be in place prior to the start of the actual construction work. If the project continues on schedule, the biorefinery will be operational in 2020.(KL)

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