The Finnish company UPM-Kymmene has selected Siemens Energy to supply electrification, automation, and digitalization (EAD) packages for a next-generation biorefinery currently under construction in Leuna, Germany.
The biorefinery will be the first industrial-scale facility of its type. It will apply novel process innovations to convert sustainable hardwood into bio-based mono-ethylene glycol (MEG), mono-propylene glycol (MPG) as well as renewable functional fillers (RFF). UPM is investing €550 million in the refinery.
Both MEG, MPG as well as functional fillers have traditionally been produced using fossil-based raw materials. UPM will provide alternatives to reduce the CO2 footprint of end-products such as PET bottles, packaging materials, textiles, or rubber products used in various automotive applications.
Siemens Energy’s scope of supply for the project includes:
Electrification: mill-wide medium- and low-voltage power distribution system and drive system (motor control center, variable speed drives, motors);
Automation: Distributed control system (DCS) for multiple process areas and remote I/O cubicles (total of 9,000 process objects), including safety and ATEX functions for explosive atmospheres; and
Digitalization: Complete digital twin for the entire plant, covering the mill’s whole life cycle—from integrated engineering to integrated operation.
The Leuna Biorefinery will be a big step for UPM to expand its business into wood-based biomolecular products and solutions.
The biorefinery is scheduled for start-up in late 2022. When fully operational, it will have a total annual capacity of 220,000 tons of bio-monoethylene glycol (BioMEG), bio-monopropylene glycol (BioMPG) and lignin-based Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF) made from certified hardwood sourced regionally in Germany.