The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, which requires that renewable energy should account for at least 10% of the energy used in traffic by 2020, is creating a boom in biorefinery projects in Finland. There are currently more than EUR 1 billion worth of biorefinery projects underway or planned in Finland.
According to Satu Helynen, Technology Director at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, if all the planned projects are realised the production of biofuels in Finland will increase to almost one million tons annually. This would cover 12-20% of Finland’s total traffic fuel needs. The first new products are expected within 2-5 years.
Finnish energy company St1 is planning a network of bioethanol production plants in Finland with the aim of reaching an annual capacity of 300 million litres by the year 2020. St1’s planned bioethanol plant in Kajaani, northern Finland, could start producing bioethanol traffic fuel from sawdust in 2015.
Green Fuel Nordic is currently starting construction work on a biorefinery in Iisalmi, eastern Finland, which will produce liquid, low-carbon and sulphur-free bio-oil from renewable forest-based biomass. Finland’s state-owned energy company Vapo has been awarded a grant of EUR 88.5 million for the construction of a biodiesel plant in Kemi, northern Finland as part of the EU’s NER300 programme. Fortum and UPM also have plans for new biorefineries in Finland.