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UPM progresses plans for biofuels, biochemicals plants in Europe

February 01/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- UPM (Helsinki, Finland) says it has started basic engineering and commercial studies for a potential 500,000-metric tons/year biofuels refinery, to be located in either Finland or the Netherlands, and is also under way with construction of a previously announced EUR550-million (USD667 million) biochemicals plant in Leuna, Germany, said Chemweek.

The new biorefinery would manufacture products to significantly reduce carbon footprint in road transport and aviation, as well as replace fossil raw materials with renewable alternatives in chemicals and bioplastics, it says. UPMs solid wood biomass-based residues and side streams will play a substantial role in the feedstock pool for the facility, if it proceeds. The studies will define the business case, select technology options, and estimate investment needs, with the technology concept to include the use of green hydrogen in the production process. The two locations being considered are in Kotka, Finland, and Rotterdam, Netherlands. UPM estimates the base engineering phase will take a minimum of one year.

Construction of the biochemical plant in Leuna began during the fourth quarter of 2020 and is on track, with the company simultaneously setting up the business for eventual market entry, it says. The facility is scheduled to come online by the end of 2022, producing 220,000 metric tons/year of biomonoethylene glycol (bio-MEG) and lignin-based renewable functional fillers.

As per MRC, UPM (Helsinki, Finland) says it has agreed to buy the entire annual lignin production of Domtar Paper Co.s plant at Plymouth Mill, North Carolina, starting in January 2021. The 20,000-metric tons/year of lignin will enable UPM to increase its existing supplies and expand its role in the growing lignin business and different application segments, it says. Part of the additional lignin supply will be used to complement UPMs BioPiva products brand.

As MRC informed earlier, PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) has announced that Auria Biochemicals Co., a joint venture of PTTGC and Myriant Corp. On 12 Apr. 2018, at a general meeting of Auria shareholders, a resolution was passed to dissolve the joint venture, which was established in 2013 to conduct research and development of bio-based chemicals in order to enhance Myriant's technology. Myriant is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PTTGC.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia decreased in January-November 2020 by 17% year on year and reached 569,900 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the greatest reduction in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia increased by 21% year on year to about 202,000 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2020. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:bioplastics, petroleum products, PP, PE, biodizel, petrochemistry, Finland.
Category:General News
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