Story | 05/11/2015 09:40:00

From wood to wheels

Anneli Kunnas

UPM BioVerno is a brand-new renewable diesel that has been produced in Finland from mostly domestic raw materials. It can be used directly in all diesel engines. The biofuel is based on UPM's own innovations; it is derived from crude tall oil, a residue of pulp production. Because of its significant environmental benefits, UPM BioVerno is a responsible choice.

We introduce key players in the chain that brought UPM BioVerno from Finnish forests to fuel tanks.

  1. What has been your role in the project?
  2. How does it feel being part of the chain?
  3. Why is Finnish renewable diesel such an important product?
  4. How does the product benefit end customers?

Karoliina Hiironen

Process Engineer, UPM Biofuels

1. I joined UPM as a Process Engineer early in 2013. I was one of the first people to join the biorefinery’s production organisation. Initially I worked on the LUNA project, attending meetings,discussing the operation of the system and commenting on control screens and operating instructions. At that time, we also began recruiting production staff and organising staff training. When the plant was commissioned, I was responsible for the start-up of the hot oil boiler and the pre-treatment of the crude tall oil.

2. Being part of the project and the production organisation during the construction and commissioning of the plant has been very interesting. I have learnt a lot about commissioning – there are so many more issues to consider than with a plant that is already up and running. The work has been challenging and even difficult at times, but we are constantly making progress, one step at a time.

3. Forests are Finland’s main renewable resource, and all forestbased products are important to the Finnish economy. Demand currently exists in Europe for renewable diesel. Finland benefits from the fact that our biofuel can be produced on home turf. In addition to providing jobs and tax revenues, the new technology has brought us expertise that will create new opportunities in the future.

4. UPM BioVerno is a high quality renewable diesel with lower emissions than fossil fuels. Customers don’t have to wonder whether the fuel is suitable for their diesel car, as BioVerno has been proven to suit all diesel engines. By filling their tanks with UPM BioVerno, a fuel produced in Lappeenranta using domestic.


Karoliina Hiironen

Marko Snellman

Commercial Development Manager, UPM Biofuels

1. I have been responsible for negotiating sales contracts with our customers. There has been a high level of interest in the product since the very beginning – in that respect the negotiations have been very rewarding. That said, the negotiations began before we even launched production, so the process required a high level of mutual trust.

2. It has been a great experience contributing to the creation of a new and unique product. My job involves close contact with customers, and it has been important to make sure that the product’s properties meet customer needs and benefit the end customer. It is extremely interesting to be part of creating a new business. I previously worked in a commercial role in the oil industry, so I am familiar with the traditional oil market. Biofuels were new to me, so I have learnt a great deal at UPM.

3. The product is a quality an advanced biofuel that is suitable for all diesel engines. It reduces traffic emissions and increases the range of advanced biofuels on the market.

4. The product is significant to our fuel manufacturing customers, as it enables them to produce fuel mixtures in a flexible manner without the need to make changes to the existing distribution infrastructure. UPM BioVerno also has better properties than traditional biofuels. Numerous engine tests and fleet tests have proved that our biofuel works exactly like a traditional diesel fuel. The results of the tests have been excellent and in line with our expectations.


Marko Snellman

Henrikki Talvitie

CEO, NEOT (North European Oil Trade Oy)

1. As a major Finnish wholesale distributor, North European Oil Trade Oy sees it as its responsibility to provide UPM with the best possible channel for selling biofuel to Finnish drivers. We have been involved in the project from the very beginning and worked with UPM to find the optimal and most cost-efficient way of providing end customers with Finnish wood-based diesel.

2. Part of our company strategy is to ensure self-sufficiency in the supply of traffic fuels, including biofuels, both today and in the future. In addition to investing in production through our owners, SOK and St1, our goal is to support Finnish biofuel projects that use waste or residues as raw materials. Finding common ground with UPM in a project of national significance has felt particularly good.

3. All Finnish biofuels and traffic fuels benefit the economy, as every litre produced in Finland reduces the net import of energy. Renewable liquid biofuels are a modern solution that suits the current infrastructure and helps Finland achieve its renewable energy goals.

4. The availability of renewable Finnish biofuels ensures that end users can choose a product that is sustainable, ethical, and domestic, yet also competitive.


Henrik Talvitie

Harri Tuomaala

Marketing and Communications Director, St1

1. We have worked with UPM to create an end product and develop its story and marketing communication concept in the lead-up to the product launch.

2. Our collaboration has run smoothly from the start. The enthusiasm and energy of the entire team has been visible in our work throughout the project. Each team member has felt that we are creating a unique and innovative Finnish success story. As the members of the team all come from different backgrounds, the project has also helped us to take on new perspectives and learn new skills.

3. Renewable traffic fuels, including renewable diesel, are important to Finland for three reasons. Firstly, they reduce the need to import energy, which benefits the Finnish economy. Secondly, renewable fuels help us achieve our goal for 2020, when renewable energy should account for 20% of traffic fuels. Thirdly, UPM’s high-tech renewable diesel is a perfect match for diesel vehicles that are constantly being developed and have exacting requirements in terms of fuel quality.

4. When UPM BioVerno is combined with St1’s highquality Diesel plus product, a large number of end customers can benefit . The high cetane number (>60) guarantees outstanding ignition properties and maximum engine performance. By using UPM BioVerno, all Finnish diesel car drivers can benefit from a world-class innovation and reduce Finland’s import energy costs. What’s more, each litre of Diesel plus containing UPM BioVerno helps us to reduce fossil CO2 emissions. UPM BioVerno is clean energy from Finnish forests.


Harri Tuomaala

Jaana Särkisilta

Sales Director, Fleet Sales, Bilia Oy Ab

1. I provided the car dealer's perspective. The majority of Bilia’s business customers opt for diesel Volvo models thanks to their improved engine power and reduced CO2 emissions. The new Volvo DRIVE-E powertrains represent cutting-edge technology, and their CO2 emissions are at a level complying with the standards of most businesses. I believe that a large proportion of our customers will use UPM BioVerno to fuel their Volvos.

2. The story of UPM BioVerno, making fuel from pulp production residue, is so fascinating that it is both a pleasure and an honour to be part of it.

3. We are all responsible for our environment. Environmental matters are taken very seriously in vehicle manufacturing and recycling, and it’s great that we can also reduce our environmental footprint through our choice of fuel.

4. Volvo’s customers are environmentally aware and expect their vehicles to be fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly, at no cost to their driving pleasure. UPM BioVerno meets all these expectations.


Jaana Särkisilta

Photography: Sami Kulju, Martti Järvi