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Veolia to launch biorefinery project

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Veolia to launch the world's largest biorefinery project producing CO2-neutral biomethanol from a pulp mill, located in Finland. The project will unlock the potential of this alternative source of feedstock for biofuel that is almost completely unexplored to date.

Developed in close cooperation with Metsä Fibre, the largest cooperative forestry association in Europe, the refinery will be based on Veolia’s innovative industrial-scale concept of commercial bioproduct-derived biomethanol production, which safely integrates the refining of crude sulfate methanol into the pulp production process.

The project will contribute to European energy security while supporting the European Green Deal decarbonisation ambitions for transportation, as the industrial-grade quality CO2-neutral biomethanol represents a new source of sustainable low-carbon fuel, replacing fossil-based fuels.

The refinery, owned and operated by Veolia, will be adjacent and partly built into Metsä Fibre’s Äänekoski plant in Finland. With a production capacity of 12 000 tpy, the plant, due to come onstream by 2024, will avoid up to 30 000 tpy of CO2 emissions. The €50 million investment is supported by a grant from the Finnish ministry of economy and employment.

“Our biorefinery project with Metsä Fibre is in line with Veolia’s strategy to develop local energy loops allowing decarbonisation and energy sufficiency. It illustrates our capacity to act as an ecological transformation enabler through industrial integration across various sectors to develop scalable and sustainable solutions for locally produced CO2-neutral fuels,” commented Estelle Brachlianoff, COO of Veolia. “The advantage of our industrial concept is that it is replicable at around 80% of the pulp mills worldwide. It has a potential to unlock an additional, locally generated feedstock of CO2-neutral biomethanol for biofuel that could be estimated at 2 million t.”

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