The Port of Rotterdam looks to be a candidate location for a new biorefinery project being considered by UPM, a Finnish expert in the development of fuels and biochemicals based on sustainably sourced renewable wood biomass.
The company announced it was moving forward on the basic engineering phase of a next-generation biorefinery offering an annual capacity of 500,000 tonnes of high-quality renewable fuels, including sustainable jet fuel.
Feedstock for the refinery would be provided by UPM’s solid wood biomass-based residues and side streams, in addition to sustainable liquid waste and residue raw materials.
“UPM has an excellent position and expertise acquired over the decades in biomass sourcing both in Finland and Central Europe thanks to our large-scale operations in the pulp, paper, timber and plywood businesses,” explained Jyrki Ovaska, Chief Technology Officer of UPM
As a next step, the company will now embark on a detailed commercial and basic engineering study to define the business case, select the most innovative technology option and estimate the investment required. The technology concept includes the use of green hydrogen in the production process.
As it now stands, UPM will be reviewing the operating environment primarily in two locations: Kotka, Finland and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The basic engineering phase will take a minimum of 12 months to complete. If all goes well, UPM will then proceed to initiate the company’s standard procedure of analysing and preparing an investment decision.
UPM already boasts years of experience with biorefineries. Its commercial-scale wood-based renewable diesel biorefinery launched in Lappeenranta, Finland was the world’s first. That biorefinery is based on a hydrotreatment process developed by UPM, and annually produces approximately 130 million litres of renewable UPM BioVerno diesel, a fuel derived from crude tall oil, a residue of pulp production.
The company is currently also engaged in the construction of another biorefinery at Leuna, in Germany.
“Years of investment in R&D and innovation have paid off. This gives us confidence to plan scaling up this exciting business,” said Ovaska.