Low-carbon fuels and climate-smart energy production solutions are a key part of our sustainable energy management strategy.
Heading to a fossil-free future
Due to our high energy self-sufficiency, we have taken agile steps to take less fossil CO2 producing energy solutions in use. Where possible, fossil fuels are substituted by renewable fuels. If fossil fuels cannot be avoided, natural gas, when available, is the first choice.
Our combined heat and power (CHP) plants burn renewable fuels such as bark, forest and fibre residues and solid residues from deinking and effluent treatment plants. Additionally, fossil fuels including natural gas or light fuel oil are used at our CHP plants and steam boilers. Coal is used as an energy source at mills only when there is no other alternative fuel source.
Forerunner in use of wood-based biomass
We have invested heavily in renewable biomass-based energy generation during the past decades and have replaced a number of old fossil fuel-fired power plants with new biomass-based power plants. Effective, large-scale utilisation of biomass-based fuels is an important part of our energy strategy, and today biomass-based fuels make up 72% (2020) of our total fuel usage.
At the same time, we have been developing sustainable wood biomass harvesting methods closely with regulators, non-governmental organisations and universities.
Our biomass-based energy sources also include bark and black liquor from the pulping process.
Hydropower is a cost-efficient way to generate energy
Hydropower is a key part of our diverse energy portfolio, offering a good example of a renewable, CO2-free energy resource. It is also a cost-efficient way to generate energy. Hydropower plants have low maintenance costs and a long lifespan. Hydropower is also a flexible and adjustable way of generating electricity.
We own nine hydropower plants in Finland and are a shareholder in two hydropower companies, Pohjolan Voima Oy and Kemijoki Oy. Most of our hydropower plants were built between the 1930s and 1950s. Some of our paper mills have their own hydropower plants located on nearby rivers.
Through continuous modernisation, we aim to progressively improve the operational efficiency and environmental safety of our hydropower plants.
In Finland, we have a stake in the nuclear power industry through our associated company, Pohjolan Voima Oy (PVO), which is the second largest power generator in the country. PVO is the majority shareholder of the nuclear power producer Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO), which operates two reactors in Olkiluoto, Finland.
UPM has reserved approximately 31 percent (500 MW) of the capacity of TVO’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power unit, which is currently under construction.
Not all energy is generated by us. Depending on the local situation, external power companies generate all or part of the energy for some of our mills.
We prefer renewable, CO2-free energy also on its purchase agreements.