His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden has broken ground for the world’s first plant for the production of BioDME. The plant will be built by Chemrec, within the company’s development unit located at the Smurfit Kappa paper mill in Piteå, Sweden. The pilot plant is expected to begin production in July 2010 with a capacity of 4tns/day using forest residues as feedstock. The plant is being constructed as part of the BioDME project with consortium members Chemrec, Haldor Topsøe, Volvo, Preem, Total, Delphi and ETC. The estimated cost of the plant is EUR 14 million. On 28 September the Swedish Energy R&D Board approved an investment grant for demonstration in industrial scale of the Chemrec technology for production of the BioDME and Biomethanol. The plant will be built at the Domsjö Fabriker biorefinery in Örnsköldsvik. The investment grant of up to EUR 49 million is contingent on approval by the EU Directorate General for Competition according to the State aid rules. The plant is based on the Chemrec technology for black liquor gasification combined with technology from the petrochemical industry. Investment cost is EUR 300 million for a capacity of about 100,000tns or 40 million gallons per year of the renewable motor fuels BioDME and Biomethanol. Extensive front-end engineering and design work will now be done to provide a solid foundation for final decision on project procurement planned for the fall of 2010.