These include solid biofuels and second-generation biorefineries that in future will have the ability to produce energy products such as liquid biofuels as well as biochemicals and biopolymers for use in the chemical, food and pharmaceuticals industries.
Biorefineries planned for Finland
Three consortiums are presently planning to establish second generation biorefineries in Finland. Stora Enso/Neste Oil, UPM and Metsäliitto/Vapo are basing their designs on the gasification of biomass and the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The planned facilities would each have the capacity to produce 100,000 – 200,000 tonnes of biodiesel annually.
Plans for several biorefineries in Finland.
The primary raw material in biodiesel production of above plans would be felling residue, but biorefineries could utilise all kinds of biomass, such as wastes. Finland must maintain a competitive operating environment if it is to attract biorefinery investments.
First commercial scale forest industry biorefinery investment published
UPM announced the beginning of 2012, that the company will invests (€ 150 million) in the world's first advanced wood based biodiesel production in South Eastern Finland, Lappeenranta. Process is using hydrotreatment technology and raw material will be sustainably produced crude tall oil.
Construction of biorefinery will start in the summer of 2012 and production (100 000 tonnes/year) of advanced second generation biodiesel will start in 2014. The production will cover about 25 percent of Finland's 20 percent biofuels target in 2020.
Biorefineries benefit Finland and the forest industry
As providers of employment and building blocks of the future bioeconomy, biorefinery facilities have substantial technological, environmental and economic impacts. Furthermore, renewable energy targets cannot be reached if biorefineries are not established.
Transport biofuels, biochemicals and biocomposites can replace fossil fuels and other products that are made from non-renewable materials. Biorefineries add diversity to the processing of renewable wood and boost the degree of value added in domestic wood processing. In addition to this, forest chips, which are created in forestry and as a by-product of manufacturing, are a cost-effective and climate- and environment-positive raw material for the manufacture of transport biofuels.
Investment subsidies needed for the implementation of biorefinery projects
Industrial-scale biorefinery facilities require determined support in order for investments to get off the ground. Public spending and active support are needed both on the EU level and nationally to enable the building of experimental facilities, as these projects represent a substantial investment for any company.
The EU needs to come up with funding for commercial-scale European biorefinery trial facilities. The goal must be the rapid application of new technology, which would strengthen Europe’s lead in this field and promote sustainable development. National public investments are required on top of private funding to enable Finnish involvement in European joint ventures.
The goal is for Finland to become a forerunner market in transport biofuels. The creation of biorefinery facilities in Finland is being promoted with the aid of both the EU’s NER300 funding and through national subsidy mechanisms. Biorefineries have been promised national investment subsidies totalling some €100 million in the future years budgets. The Ministry of Employment and the Economy sent in May 2011 all three forest biorefinery NER300-funding application forward to the EU. EU will make decision of NER300-funding at the end of 2012.