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World’s first wood-based biofuel refinery to be built in Finland

Forest industry giant UPM is building a biorefinery in the eastern city of Lappeenranta which is to produce biofuel from crude tall oil. The plant’s output is expected to reach some 100,000 tons of biodiesel annually, slated for use in transport.

Image: YLE Etelä-Karjala

Construction work will start in the summer at UPM’s Kaukas mill site, and the refinery is to be ready in 2014. Construction work will employ nearly 200 people, according to the company. Once the biorefinery is operational, it is expected to provide jobs to 50 people directly and a further 150 indirectly.

Crude tall oil is a by-product of pine-wood pulp production. UPM says that its biodiesel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport up to 80 percent compared to fossil fuels.

“Our biorefinery in Lappeenranta is the first significant investment in a new and innovative production facility in Finland during the ongoing transformation of the forest industry," UPM President and CEO Jussi Pesonen noted in a press release.

UPM says that the biorefinery’s annual production will account for about a quarter of Finland’s biofuel target.

“The biofuel produced at the plant will be suitable for all cars that use diesel,” says UPM’s Vice President for Biofuels, Petri Kukkonen.

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