Finland's UPM mulls German bio-refinery

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Photo by UPM Biochemicals

Helsinki-based forest industry business, UPM Corp. is evaluating the potential of building a biorefinery in the Chemical Park FrankfurtHöchst in Germany, as part of its move towards biochemicals business.

The industrial-scale biorefinery, said UPM, would convert wood into bio-monoethylene glycol (bMEG), biomonopropylene glycol (bMPG) and lignin up to 150 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa).

The company will be sourcing its hardwood from "sustainably managed" forests in Central Europe.

According to UPM, application areas for bio-monoethylene glycol include bottles, packaging and de-icing fluids. Biomonopropylene glycol, on the other hand, can be used in composites, pharma and cosmetics or detergents.

Application areas for lignin include plastics or foams and coatings.

UPM said it will now proceed with a detailed commercial and basic engineering study to verify the feasibility and "attractiveness" of the business case for the next 12 months.

UPM will make a decision on analysing and preparing an investment decision after this period.

"We are truly excited about this opportunity to bring bio-based products to the market, which would enable replacement of fossil-based materials with new renewable alternatives" said Juuso Konttinen, vice president, UPM Biochemicals.


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