A Hungarian bio-energy research firm will set up what will become Europe's largest facility producing an energy efficient reed grass, the firm's CEO told reporters today.
Reeds have a calorific value equivalent to 12 tons of premium quality coal or 9,000 cubic meters of natural gas. The product can be used in power plants either alone mixed with conventional fuel. The Budapest-based firm, Nád MPS-H Kft, (Reed Micro Propagation System-Hungary) which had been developing the new technology for the past few years, is investing Ft 2 billion (€8 million) in the new plant as well as training 480 staff to man the facility in Bátonyterenye, north Hungary, said Gábor Kiss.
The factory will use a kind of Chinese reed called Miscanthus sinensis “Tatai” which was improved by a professor of the Western Hungarian University, Béla Marosvölgyi. The facility plans to turn out an annual 20 to 40 tons per hectare of reed grass using a micro-multiplication technology. Seeds are multiplied in the lab and then sowed on farm land. Scientists have been trying to improve this kind of reed for many years in Austria and in Germany, but were never as successful to make it resist dry weather and freeze as the professor with “Tatai”.