NEB mulls 50 million liter bioethanol refinery at UPM Pietarsaari


Kajaani cellulosic ethanol plant to reach full capacity in 2017 but expansion project already considered.

Oil and bioproducts trading company North European Biotech (NEB), a joint venture company between the Finnish biofuels manufacturer St1 Biofuels and the SOK Corporation, is considering the erection of a new biorefinery for the production of cellulosic ethanol at the UPM Alholma industrial area in Pietarsaari, Finland. According to St1, the new saw-dust and recycled wood based ethanol plant will produce some 50 million liter per year. St1 has reportedly already begun with analysing the project and has signed letters of intent with Alholmens Kraft and UPM.

UPM Alholma industrial area is home to UPM's Pietarsaari pulp The site also houses UPM's Alholma sawmill, Alholmens Kraft biomass power plant and UPM's wood procurement offices. UPM and Alholmens Kraft would provide the project with "services and commodities and where possible, would utilise by-products of the ethanol production in their own processes", St1 said.

The project is still in its early stages. According to St1, the environmental impact assessment has still to be done and approved The project is estimated to be in the investment decision stage in 2018, and bioethanol production for transport would not start before 2020.

NEB is currently in the process of ramping up production at the 10 million litres sawdust-to-bioethanol refinery in Kajaani, Finland. The plant is expected to run to full capacity in the course of the next year.

"One option also being considered is the construction of a new bioethanol plant with an annual capacity of 50 million litres in Kajaani. The assessment of the environmental impacts will be completed at the beginning of 2017", St1 announced.

NEB already runs a 5 million litres bioethanol plant at ST1's oil refinery in Gothenburg. Here, the company is processing biowastes and residues from bakeries into biofuels for transportation.

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