A world first: a black pellet plant to get out of fossil coal

Caisse des Dépôts Banque des Territoires Energie et environnement

On 24 April, Meridiam, Européenne de Biomasse and Banques des Territoires officially launched the construction of the first production unit for HPCI® black pellet, a new generation biofuel. The 3 partners hold 80.5%, 5% and 14.5% respectively of the dedicated company Fica HPCI.

This factory will be commissioned in October 2020 within the Pomacle-Bazancourt bioeconomy centre near Reims (Grand Est), whilst the biomass cogeneration plant with which it will be paired will be opened in June 2020.

This leading French industrial complex is also a world first: it will be comprised of two facilities contributing towards energy transition by producing 100% sustainable energy based on a circular economy rationale:

  • one production unit for 2 biofuels: one biomass fuel for the cogeneration plant located on-site, and the latest generation HPCI® black pellet* biofuel for industrial use (the pellets will replace coal to provide heating to around 130,000 inhabitants);
  • a cogeneration plant which will produce both electricity (90 GWh per year, i.e. the domestic consumption of 30,000 inhabitants) and thermal energy (130 GWh per year in the form of steam and hot water) to feed to biofuel production unit and the ADM Chamtor factory located within the bio-economy centre.


Representing a €100mn investment, these facilities will locally produce green energy, thermal energy and biofuels to replace fossil coal. The project will directly contribute towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN and particularly that of combatting climate change and its effects. It will also create 350 jobs: the Pomacle site will employ 40 individuals and its activity will contribute towards creating 310 jobs in the biomass sector in the Grand Est region.





* Dark pellets of high industrial calorific value: woody residues are crushed at a high temperature and pressure and then suddenly released before being pulverised (steam explosion).