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UPM to Become Biofuels Producer

The vision of the European Biofuels Technology Platform, of which UPM is a member. Click to enlarge.

UPM, one of the world’s leading forest products groups, announced that it will strongly increase its stake in second-generation biodiesel in the next few years and prepare to become a significant producer of biofuels.

Currently, UPM is developing the business concept and the respective technical solutions. The company says that its decision to invest in the first commercial-scale production plant can be expected within the next few years, sooner rather than later. The plant will be located adjacent to one of UPM’s paper mill sites in Finland, France, Germany or UK.

Investments in development of concepts and plants will be significant. The production of biofuel is a good fit for UPM since its core business is to add value to the wood raw material. Our aim is to maximize the gain from the biomass-based raw material. The importance of renewable fuels is increasing, and we consider this an opportunity to further utilise our existing value chain and be part of the future development.

—Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO

The main raw material used in biofuel production will be wood-based biomass.

Based in Finland, UPM’s global sales in 2005 were €9.3 billion (US$11.9 billion). The company has production plants in 15 countries and its main market areas are Europe and North America.

UPM is a member of the steering committee for the European Biofuels Technology Platform, an organization focused on creating ans supporting a healthy European biofuels industry that will achieve the goal of meeting 25% of the demand for road transport fuel with biofuels by 2030.



Ok, they're a big company with lots of money ... but do they actally have the technology to produce second generation bio fuels?


They can use their massive feedstock potential to woo partners, then buy them outright, or merge with them.

An Engineer

Done right, this could be very profitable - assuming oil prices play along, of course.


Unless El Niño stays next till past hurricane season, the tropical cyclones will return to the Gulf. With the cyclones returning, the risk premium will return, pushing oil up to $70/bbl and beyond.
_Btw, the PRC has had a similar, though much smaller, experience this year as pertains to tropical cyclones. Oil/gas rigs out in the South and East China Seas were lashed with tropical storms and Typhoons (7 so far), and even 4 Super Typhoons (Chanchu, Ewiniar, Saomai-PRC's own Katrina...with even a Chinese "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" moment, and currently Cimaron). They are getting the pummeling we got last year.


The left over "waste" from paper production turns out to be a valuable source for ethanol. A paper mill in Bucksport Maine has determined that it can produce significant amounts of ethanol instead of discarding paper by-product.

Paper mills will become more profitable in the next decade because of this.


I would think Weyerhauser, Georgia-Pacific and other U.S. wood products companies would be looking at this very closely. With agriculture cellulose, you may not have the same type of biomass, which can become a problem for gasification. But for forest products, the biomass may be more consistent and less of a problem in tuning the process.


Deforestation produces more global CO2 than the transport sector annually.


The Finns are quite good at their sustainable forestry, presumably this would be a well managed resource.


"Deforestation produces more global CO2 than the transport sector annually."

That may be true in Brazil, where they cut whole virgin forests to grow soybeans. In the U.S. the forest product companies grow forests like farmers grow wheat.

If you want to solve that problem, work with the World Bank to get Brazil to stop cutting down the forests.


Err, read the story they're talking about Finland here.

And Global does not mean Brazil, it means Global.

Deforestation worldwide creates more CO2 than the entire worldwide CO2 output of the transport sector. No one mentioned Brazil.

Last time I looked at the US, they were clearcutting forest more madly now under Bush Inc than ever before.


Yup. Sometimes to get at the lovely mountains of coal underneath.



Deforestation in developed countries was stopped decades ago. From 1950 to 2004 inventories of standing hardwood and softwood timber in US increased whopping 30%. Modern loggers are required to re-grow forest on clearcuts completely. And it is true – most of the timber in US is harvested on privately owned tree farms. In that respect both US, Scandinavian, and Canadian forestry are environmentally and economically sustainable. Third world – another story.

“Last time I looked at US, they were clearcutting forest more madly now under Bush Inc then ever before”

Where do you live, man? On the Moon?


I used the word global.

The enviromental sustainability of US logging operations is very suspect!! They have been pushing logging into new and previously protected areas.

Anyway, the main argument here is that felling forests to create biofuels is not necessarily the panacea it appears to be. That was the point!


They are using forest product waste. They still use wood for homes, paper and other products, but there is a part that they can not use and this is a use for it.

"The production of biofuel is a good fit for UPM since its core business is to add value to the wood raw material. Our aim is to maximize the gain from the biomass-based raw material."

Cheryl Ho

there are developments in DME in China today:
DME is an LPG-like synthetic fuel can be produced through gasification of Biomass. The synthetic gas is then catalyzed to produce DME. A gas under normal pressure and temperature, DME can be compressed into a liquid and used as an alternative to diesel. Its low emissions make it relatively environmentally friendly. In fact, Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and will be sharing their experience at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:

DME productivity can be much higher especially if
country energy policies makes an effort comparable to
that invested in increasing supply.
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
will be sharing their experience.

Advances in conversion technologies are readily
available and offer exciting potential of DME as a
chemical feedstock
By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
that DME/ Methanol can play a large energy supply role
By: International Finance Corporation

For more information:

Mr Red Rose120

this is nice post and having a good status in the market, it is also called the house of knowledge.

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LPG Conversion London
LPG Conversion Specialist
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