UPM celebrates five years of operations at advanced biofuels facility in Finland

Finnish company UPM has marked the five-year anniversary of the start of operations of the first biorefinery in the world to produce wood-based advanced biofuels, the Lappeenranta Biorefinery.

The facility uses wood-based residual raw material crude tall oil to produce renewable fuels that decrease emissions and mitigate climate change.

The biorefinery currently produces around 160 million litres per year of advanced biofuels and biomaterials. They are used to replace fossil-based raw materials in transport fuels and various plastics and adhesives used in packaging and construction materials.

“Our clients can reduce their carbon footprint by replacing fossil-based raw materials with low-emission goods produced by the biorefinery using renewable raw material,” commented Panu Routasalo, vice-president of UPM Biofuels.

UPM’s BioVerno diesel reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over 80% when compared to fossil-based diesel fuels. Total annual production at the biorefinery in Lappeenranta reduces GHG emissions equivalent to around 150,000 cars per year.

Since starting commercial operations five years ago, the facility has produced enough advanced biofuels to cut GHG emissions from the equivalent of half a million cars for a year.

Routasalo added: “I want to thank the Biofuels team, our clients and our partners for their excellent cooperation over the years. The know-how of many UPMers is combined in the Lappeenranta Biorefinery and it is a clear sign of our company’s will to take strong steps in promoting the bioeconomy. Our journey has been a success story. But it is not over yet, as our goal is to be the forerunner in the future too.”

The biorefinery cost €179 million to construct, employing almost 200 people for around two years. UPM Biofuels now directly employs 100 personnel, as well as providing indirect employment for 150 people.

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