UPM aims to become a major player in the production of advanced biofuels.
In summer 2012 UPM began the construction of a biorefinery producing advanced biofuels from crude tall oil in Lappeenranta, in southeastern Finland. The biorefinery will produce annually approximately 100,000 tonnes of renewable diesel, UPM BioVerno, for transport. The industrial scale investment is the first of its kind globally. Construction of the biorefinery at UPM’s Kaukas mill site will be completed in 2014. The total investment will amount to approximately EUR 175 million.
UPM’s renewable diesel, UPM BioVerno, is an innovation which will decrease greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles remarkably in comparison to fossil fuels. The product’s characteristics correspond to those of traditional oil-based fuels and it will work well with today’s vehicles and fuel distribution systems.
By further processing crude tall oil UPM is able to utilise the wood it uses for its pulp production in a more efficient way without increasing wood harvesting. UPM’s wood sourcing is based on the principles of sustainable forest management, chain of custody and forest certification. UPM does not use raw materials suitable for food.
Wood to biofuels
In recent years UPM has developed different technologies and business models for the production of renewable fuels.
UPM is currently planning the production of advanced biofuels - mainly renewable diesel - from wood biomass: logging residues, wood chips and bark in a BtL (Biomass-to-Liquid) refinery to be constructed in Strasbourg, France. The European Union has awarded UPM a grant of EUR 170 million for the project.
UPM’s Biofuels business resources are currently directed to the construction of the Lappeenranta Biorefinery. The company will also continue to clarify the investment prerequisites in France. The final assessment on the investment in the Strasbourg Biorefinery will be made in 2014 at the latest. UPM’s investment decision is subject to the economic operating environment and the long term outlook for the market price and availability of wood.
In advanced biofuels UPM has been developing, together with Andritz Carbona, the gasification technology needed to produce biofuel from wood biomass. The initial testing programme was completed in the USA at the Gas Technology Institute as planned. Finalisation of the technical concept will continue.
In addition, UPM, Metso and Fortum together with the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have developed a new concept for the production of wood biomass-based bio oil to replace fossil fuels in heating and power generation. In this concept, production of bio oil is integrated into biomass-based power plants. The long-term goal is to use bio oil for the production of transportation fuels.