Forest Products Company UPM Begins Environmental Impact Assessment for Second-Generation Biofuels Plant
UPM, one of the world’s leading forest products groups, recently began an official procedure for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a second-generation biofuels plant in Lappeenranta, Finland. The main end products of the plant would be renewable diesel, and bio- gasoline, kerosene and naphtha.
Raw materials used would be liquid bio-based organic compounds, such as fats, oils and forest industry by-products.
The facility is planned to be build in stages. In the first phase the plan is to build a 20,000 tonne test and training facility, which could also serve small scale industrial production. The natural location for this facility is UPM’s Kaukas mill site, in Lappeenranta, where UPM’s research centre is located. The EIA includes also an assessment of a larger scale commercial size plant that has an annual production capacity of maximum 200,000 tonnes.
In the first phase the plant will serve mainly as a test and training facility. The applicability of different raw materials for the biofuels production will be tested at the biofuels plant. In addition UPM’s future operating staff will be trained at the facility for the operation and management of biofuels petrochemical processes.
UPM has submitted the EIA program to the responsible authority, the Southeast Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. UPM will compile the EIA report based on the assessment program and the related statements. UPM aims to finalize the EIA process by the end of 2010.
UPM is investigating the production of various second generation biofuels. In addition to this EIA process, UPM has previously completed a more extensive environmental impact assessment for a second-generation biorefinery in Kuusankoski and Rauma, Finland. A similar assessment for a biorefinery is ongoing in Strasbourg, France.
UPM has not made an investment decision to build the biofuels plant. In addition to the EIA, construction of a biofuels plant is subject to an environmental permit, construction permit and chemical permit.
UPM has previously announced that it will strongly increase its stake in second-generation biodiesel and prepares to become a significant producer of renewable biofuels. (Earlier post.) Locating biofuel production plants adjacent to existing UPM pulp or paper mills would further enhance the its ability to utilise the wood raw material efficiently, the company said.