In Finland, Veolia has recently announced the development of an innovative and sustainable industrial solution, to produce carbon-neutral biofuel from pulp production. Read on to find out more, including how this solution supports our ecological transformation mission.
What does the project involve?
The project will see the launch of the world's largest biorefinery project producing carbon-neutral biomethanol from a pulp mill, and will be located in Finland. Developed in close cooperation with Metsä Fibre, the world’s largest producer of softwood market pulp and a globally significant manufacturer of sawn timber, the project will be based on an industrial scale concept of commercial bioproduct-derived biomethanol production. This will allow the refining of crude sulphate methanol to be safely integrated into the pulp production process.
The refinery, owned and operated by Veolia, in which this process will take place, will be adjacent to and partly built into Metsä Fibre’s Äänekoski plant in Finland. The plant is due to come on stream in 2024, and will have an annual production capacity of 12,000 tons. This project allows us to unlock the potential of this alternative source of feedstock for biofuel, that is almost completely unexplored to date.
What will be the benefits?
By producing a carbon-neutral fuel source, this project will avoid the creation of 30,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year. In addition, it will boost European biofuel feedstock, and will help to strengthen European fuel independence - particularly important as we are in the grip of a fuel crisis. Combined with the sustainability benefits, this makes the project particularly desirable to replicate; fortunately, the process is easy to reproduce at most pulp mills worldwide, presenting an exciting avenue as we explore carbon-neutral fuel sources.
What other decarbonisation projects are in progress?
As part of our mission to become the benchmark for ecological transformation, we continue to develop a range of innovative decarbonisation solutions globally. For example, in France, we recently partnered with Waga Energy to commission one of the largest biomethane production units in Europe, which will help to avoid around 25,000 tons of CO2 every year. Over in Portugal, an interdisciplinary consortium featuring Veolia, LIPOR (Intermunicipal Waste Management of Greater Porto) and P2X Europe, is launching feasibility studies for a fully integrated industrial-scale Power-to-Liquid (PtL) facility. This project will help to advance the decarbonisation of the aviation sector, by producing green synthetic eFuel from the CO2 captured at a waste-to-energy plant, combined with green hydrogen.
Along with Waga Energy, Veolia has commissioned one of the largest biomethane production units in Europe. Located on the biggest biogas production site in France, the project will contribute significantly to European energy security.
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