The first fuel production plant in Switzerland to use renewable raw materials should be built in Monthey in 2024! As an industrial partner in the project, the company CIMO will share certain infrastructures and services such as the electricity network, waste water disposal and the fire department.
The future Helvoil plant is planned on the Monthey chemical site and will cover a 20,000 square meter plot of land, including a storage depot. This large-scale project is worth some 100 million francs. The aim is to start production of so-called “HVO” fuel (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil), i.e. produced from used edible oils and animal fats.
“We are going to submit our application for a building permit before the end of the month and hope to obtain it by the end of the year; the canton is supporting us,” said Luca Schenk, chairman of the Helvoil board of directors, at a press conference held on July 8 in the heart of the Chablais town.
A step towards self-sufficiency in Switzerland
Fired at the pump, pure or mixed with diesel, for example, HVO could be used for road transport. “For the time being, Switzerland imports all the HVO fuel it uses, i.e. 50,000 tons in 2020 according to data from the Federal Customs Administration,” explains Luca Schenk.
“In Switzerland, the consumption of vegetable oils amounts to about 150,000 tons per year. We can recover 20% of it, i.e. 30,000 tons”, Luca Schenk continues. The Monthey plant aims to contribute to “a better self-sufficiency of Switzerland in terms of renewable fuels for road transport, with CO2 emissions that can be reduced by up to 90%”.
New jobs to be created
The plant is scheduled to open in 2024. It is expected to produce 100,000 tons of fuel per year, “enough to cover the consumption of the entire road freight traffic between Basel and Chiasso for twelve months or to fill all Swiss diesel cars ten times a year,” says Luca Schenk. Up to 40 new jobs will be created at the Monthey industrial site.