Clean diesel from Finnish forests
Premium fuel producer St1 partners up with UPM to enhance its ‘Diesel plus’, a new and improved renewable fuel pairing low carbon with high efficiency.
The renewable diesel produced by UPM aligns perfectly with St1’s strategy to become a leading producer and supplier of low-carbon, ethical energy, affirms CEO Mika Wiljanen.
“We produce renewable ethanol fuel from leftover food and waste, and we now make our diesel fuels using UPM’s tall oil based product. Our goal is to sell less and less fossil fuels, so the renewable diesel manufactured by UPM fits our overall strategy beautifully.”
In addition to being environmentally friendly, a fuel must also meet customers’ quality requirements. Wiljanen confirms that the technical properties of UPM’s renewable diesel make it an excellent component in St1’s Diesel plus.
“Diesel plus has a cetane number over 60, whereas the corresponding figure for ordinary diesels is somewhere between 51 and 55. The cetane number indicates the combustion speed of diesel fuel — the higher the which increases the power of the engine,” Wiljanen explains.
The product must also be available at a competitive price – not to mention the key importance of protecting the environment by cutting fossil CO2 emissions. The new diesel will be available at every St1 station from the beginning of May.
“I am convinced that Finnish consumers will welcome a product that offers all these benefits. In general, the Finns have a positive attitude towards renewable fuels, since we love nature and want to keep it as clean as possible.”
Meeting of minds
Wiljanen has nothing but praise for St1’s collaboration with UPM. “It has been a pleasure to see how professionally UPM’s experts have developed their product, while being incredibly eager to learn how the aftermarket works. During development, we had a number of discussions on how we can present the benefits of the fuel to consumers in our premium diesel marketing.” Renewable fuels also benefit the national economy.
“UPM BioVerno is extremely important to us, since it has been developed and manufactured in Finland. Fuels manufactured from domestic raw materials create new jobs and improve the trade balance, as it reduces the need to import fuels. This fact alone is very significant for us.” Wiljanen predicts steady growth in demand for biofuels.
“Finland is committed to meeting the EU goal of biofuels making up 20% of fuel consumption in traffic by 2020. We need to harness every solution imaginable to meet this goal,” states Wiljanen.
Rapid growth in the world population is pushing up demand for energy to maintain standards of living, he adds. “Moreover, consumer choices are increasingly driven by the desire to take the environment into account. As a result, the demand for renewable fuels will certainly rise in the future.”
Photography Sami Kulju, Martti Järvi
Text Vesa Puoskari, Antti Ylitalo