Foster Wheeler Ltd. has announced that its Finnish subsidiary Foster Wheeler Energia Oy, has been awarded a contract by NSE Biofuels Oy Ltd. for a circulating fluidised-bed (CFB) biomass oxygen/steam gasifier to be located in Varkaus, Finland.

NSE Biofuels Oy Ltd. is a joint venture owned 50/50 by Stora Enso Oyj and Neste Oil Corporation and the new system forms part of the company’s new-generation renewable diesel demonstration plant at Stora Enso’s Varkaus Mill in Finland.

Foster Wheeler’s scope includes an oxygen/steam gasifier and gas treatment equipment. The plant utilises Foster Wheeler’s fuel-flexible circulating fluidised-bed gasification technology to convert a wide spectrum of biomass into a clean syngas to be used in a gas to liquids (Fischer-Tropsch) process to produce feedstock for renewable diesel from biomass/wood residue-based gas.

While the terms of the award were not disclosed, the contract will be included in the company’s bookings for the second quarter of 2008 and Foster Wheeler has been given the go-ahead to proceed on the contract. The plant is expected to start up in early 2009 and will be integrated into the energy infrastructure of the Stora Enso Varkaus Mill.

Foster Wheeler and the JV partners have also agreed in principle for further co-operation, aiming for the delivery of a commercial-scale production plant to be located at one of Stora Enso’s mills.

Tomas Harju-Jeanty, President and CEO of Foster Wheeler Energia Oy, commented, “This project is a major step forward in the development of technologies to reduce CO2 emissions. With our world-leading biomass gasifying technology, we are excited to be a key player in this project led by Stora Enso and Neste Oil which uses wood-based biomass for production of biofuels, thereby reducing the use of fossil fuels in transportation.”