Construction of a first 80,000 t/yr tranche is in the offing for a targeted start-up at the end of the 2015/16 heating season. The complexity of the land decontamination currently delays the ground survey and the following final technical studies. The plot was previously occupied by various chemical productions and depleted oil wells. Most of the raw materials have been contracted from the local piedmont forests and sawmills. The wood pellets are bound to French district heating networks and households (EN plus A1 certification applied for)
Demand has crossed the 1,000,000 tons mark in France and 8,000,000 across Europe, with more growth expected.
Charmont does not draw public funding but has worked over 3 years on its planning application. Even before the construction kick off, Charmont was called to pay taxes on “potential new business”. Charmont’s customers may on their side claim a tax break for electing that virtuous heating technology and may contemplate a 3 to 5 years payback. Charmont dares setting up in that high costs environment because of the forest owners welcome and because it hopes for a more favorable exchange rate.
In the meantime, Charmont caters for the demand by drawing high quality EN plus A1 certified pellets from its portfolio of production capacity contracted over selected plants abroad.