Three companies collaborate on bioethanol commercial plant in Japan

Nippon Paper Industries, Sumitomo Corporation and Green Earth Institute (“GEI”) agreed to begin trilateral consideration of the first commercial production of cellulosic bioethanol from woody biomass in Japan and its development into bio-chemical products.

Bioethanol is currently attracting attention in countries worldwide striving for carbon-neutral societies as a renewable energy source and as feedstock for biofuels such as SAF and chemicals with low environmental impact.

Accordingly, the three companies will be studying the possibility of starting production of several tens of thousands of kiloliters per year of bioethanol derived from domestic timber at Nippon Paper’s mills in fiscal 2027.

Nippon Paper will accelerate its market entry into the bio-chemical field as a “comprehensive biomass company shaping the future with trees” by quickly establishing mass production technology and a full-scale supply system for wood-based bioethanol of several tens of thousands of kiloliters, utilizing the pulp and paper manufacturing technology it has cultivated over the years in order to help build a decarbonized society and fight against global warming.

Sumitomo Corporation is making multifaceted efforts to develop businesses that will serve as the foundation for a sustainable energy cycle in society, with the aim of making its business activities carbon-neutral by 2050. The company will contribute to this study by consolidating the knowledge and skills of the Sumitomo Corporation Group acquired through various businesses, including the development and deployment of carbon-free energy using hydrogen, ammonia, and next-generation biomass raw fuel gas, and by promoting the use of green chemicals to construct a circular economy.

GEI will contribute to realizing a decarbonized society as a company “Fostering Green Technology and Walking with the Earth” by utilizing the biorefinery technology it has cultivated to date to establish a commercial production plant for the bioethanol from non-edible biomass of several tens of thousands of kiloliters, a capacity not currently available domestically, and thereby promote the social implementation of bio-manufacturing in Japan.

The three companies will leverage their mutual strengths to realize Japan’s first entirely domestic cellulosic bioethanol commercial plant utilizing domestic timber with the aim of assisting Japan with integrating low-carbon biofuels into society and ensuring its energy security.

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