Press Release | Feb 15. 2024 - 12:57PM

Oterra Takes Giant Leap on Decarbonization Journey with Biomass Boiler in Cossé-le-Vivien

Media Contact

Farah Ragheb

Head of Communications

Today marks a significant step on Oterra’s decarbonization journey, revealing its state-of-the-art 3.5 MW biomass boiler at the Cossé-le-Vivien site in France.  Oterra has chosen to mark the occasion by inviting distinguished guests, including Christophe Langouët, Mayor of Cossé-le-Vivien, and Benoît LaCroix, regional deputy director of ADEME Pays de la Loire. Leading the inauguration ceremony are Luc Ganivet, general manager of Oterra France, and Hervé PRESA, Pays de la Loire regional director at ENGIE Solutions. 

Established in Cossé-le-Vivien in 1929, now owned by Danish group Oterra, the site specializes in producing color from natural sources. Today, Oterra cements its commitment to sustainability by accelerating decarbonization through the implementation of a biomass boiler thereby reducing CO2e emissions by more than 3,000 tons annually. 

Oterra en route to meet ambitious Scope 1 targets with 25% CO2e reduction 

The biomass boiler effectively covers over 82% of the site's steam requirements and with this new biomass boiler setup, and with a new gas steam boiler to provide backup and support. The new setup has been designed and implemented by ENGIE Solutions. The 3.5 MW biomass boiler at Oterra's site efficiently utilizes wood chip byproducts from woodland and agroforestry residue, sourced from within 150 km of the plant – manifesting Oterra’s commitment to local, renewable energy and sustainable resource management in general. 

The project secured victory in the 2020 BCIAT call for projects, Biomass Heat for Industry, Agriculture, and Tertiary Sectors, led by ADEME, with a subsidy of approximately €1.8 million. 

The biomass boiler's operation and biomass sourcing adhere to BCIAT requirements, ensuring responsible practices with 80% wood chips and 20% wood by-products sourced from local forests, woodlands, and agroforestry residues. 

"Our sustainability strategy is intricately linked with our core purpose – making natural food and beverage easy for a sustainable and healthy world. We actively address climate impact as a central part of our strategy, with our targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), confirming our commitment to a 1.5-degree pathway," said Luc Ganivet, general manager of Oterra France. 

He then adds: “Replacing the old fuel boiler with the biomass boiler at the Cossé-le-Vivien site is a significant step forward to reduce Oterra’s direct emissions. This investment is estimated to give us an impressive 25% reduction of our Scope 1 impacts annually, equivalent to removing 700 petrol-powered cars from the roads a full year or planting close to 50,000 tree seedlings and letting them grow for 10 years”.  

Hervé Presa, Pays de la Loire regional director at ENGIE Solutions, expressed, "We are honored to support Oterra in this strategic phase of decarbonization with a local and sustainable solution, showcasing the expertise of our teams." 

Benoît Lacroix, regional deputy director of ADEME Pays de la Loire, added, "The Biomass Heat Industry Agriculture Tertiary (BCIAT) call for projects launched annually by ADEME enables companies to decarbonize their processes while relying on locally sourced biomass resources, thereby contributing to the economic development of the region.” 

Oterra's investment in the biomass boiler at the Cossé-le-Vivien site underscores their dedication to environmental stewardship, innovation, and collaboration. This initiative not only signifies a pivotal moment in their decarbonization efforts but also highlights their proactive approach toward achieving a more sustainable future. 


 About ADEME 

Here at ADEME - The French Agency for Ecological Transition - we are firmly committed to fighting global warming and the depletion of our natural resources. On all fronts, we mobilize citizens, economic actors and territories towards a fairer, more harmonious, low-carbon and resource-efficient society. Whatever the field - energy, circular economy, food, mobility, air quality, adaptation to climate change, soils, etc. - we advise, facilitate and help finance many projects, from research to solutions sharing. At every level, our expertise and forecasting capacities serve to guide and inform public policies. 

ADEME is a public agency under the joint authority of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion and the Ministry for Higher Education and Research. 

About ENGIE Solutions 

ENGIE Solutions is the long-term ally of cities, industries, and companies, helping to speed up their energy transition. ENGIE implements customized, decentralized solutions so that each stakeholder can make their own contribution to the energy transition, based on their resources and their challenges. 

In the heart of their regions, ENGIE Solutions experts assist clients in their decarbonization efforts, with ever more diverse expertise: from district heating and cooling networks to on-site, carbon-neutral energy production systems to energy performance services, all with two main objectives for their clients: consume less, consume better.