UPM selects Rauma or Strasbourg as the possible location for a biorefinery

(UPM Helsinki, 17 January at 13.00) — UPM has selected Rauma as the possible location for a biorefinery in Finland. Rauma was chosen ahead of Kuusankoski for two key reasons: more efficient energy utilisation, and lower investment costs e.g. in foundation work. UPM has not yet made an investment decision on building a biorefinery.

UPM considered three different locations — Rauma, Kuusankoski and Strasbourg— for its biorefinery, which will produce second generation biodiesel from energy wood: logging residues, stumps and bark. UPM has not yet decided whether the biorefinery will be located in Rauma or in Strasbourg, France, where the environmental impact assessment is still ongoing.  

 UPM will apply for the EU's NER300-grant for biorefinery investment both in Finland and France. Last autumn, EU officials announced that decisions on grants would be made in 2011. According to the most up-to-date information, the decisions are now not expected before the second half of 2012.

"Investment decision regarding the biorefinery can be made only after the EU's grant decisions are announced", says Mr Petri Kukkonen, Director, UPM Biofuels Business Area.

The planned biorefinery would use gasification and Fischer-Tropsch processes to produce biodiesel from energy wood.

Environmental impact assessment for Kaukas liquid biorefinery concluded

UPM is investigating the production of various second generation biofuels. The environmental impact assessment for possible liquid biorefinery at Lappeenranta, Finland is now complete.

The plant will be built at the Kaukas mill site and the main products of the liquid biorefinery will be transportation biofuels produced with hydrotreatment technology. Raw materials would be bio-based liquids like fats, oils and forest industry by-products.

The state authority, the Southeast Finland Regional Centre for Economic development, Transport and the Environment, has issued its official statement about the assessment. In the statement, the authority speaks highly of the assessment made by UPM as it is well prepared and includes a great deal of information about the different implementation alternatives and their environmental impacts. The authority concluded that the assessment is sufficient and meets the requirements of the EIA law and statute.

The Kaukas liquid biorefinery is planned to be build in stages. In the first phase, the plan is to build a 20,000 tons/year test and training facility, which could also begin small-scale industrial production. The EIA also includes an assessment of a larger scale commercial size plant that has an annual production capacity of up to 200,000 tonnes in total.

UPM has not yet made an investment decision to build the Kaukas liquid biorefinery.

"We are making preparations concerning both the technical and permit issues in the light of an investment decision. We aim to make an investment decision on the liquid biorefinery test and training facility this year," says Kukkonen.

UPM's production of biofuels will not utilise materials suitable for food.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Petri Kukkonen, Director, UPM Biofuels, tel. +358 204 15 0336

Notes to Editors

The European Union's NER300 programme (New Entrants Reserve) is funded from the sale of emission allowances in Europe, i.e. the funding comes from the European companies who need to buy emission allowances for their businesses. The purpose of the programme is to finance and advance innovative new technology. The programme is also one of the political decisions targeted for reducing Europe's carbon footprint.