The Launch Event, 11.11 2019

At November 11th BioEnergo had invited its key focus groups, project partners, potential customers, media and others to participate to publicity conference, where BioEnergo released its plans to invest in a bioconversion plant at Kaanaa industrial site at Pori, Finland.

According to the chairman of BioEnergo, Timo Saini, ‘the project has proceeded according to the forecasted plans’. The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment in Satakunta supports the project’s feasibility study and has together with the European Regional Development Fund granted subsidies to the project. The expert organization CTS Engtec Oy will conduct and co-ordinate the study.

The final investment decision will be made by the end of 2020, and the plant should be ready in the beginning of 2023. The EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) has already commenced with the expert company Sweco Oy.

In order to fight the negative climate change, we must decrease the oil consumption. Traffic has a key role here. The main product of the new plant will be 2-g bioethanol. 2-g bioethanol is the additional ‘green’ substance in fuel. The plant’s other main product is lignin, which can be used as the ‘green glue’ in asphalt production together with of oil based bitumen.

‘So far it has not been possible in asphalt production to use any other binder but fossil bitumen. Perhaps we have found the recycling natural material, lignin or ‘wood glue’, to substitute the fossil bitumen’, says Timo Saini from BioEnergo.

Biogas is the third major product from the plant. It is perfect to be used as vehicle fuel, because it is 100 % renewable. ‘Biogas will fit to our operations perfectly and will further confirm our position in reducing traffic emissions, says Stefan Fors, the project director at BioEnergo. Biogas is forecasted important as the green fuel especially for heavy traffic.

‘Our plant would traditionally speaking be called an ethanol plant’, says Stefan Fors from BioEnergo. ‘However, as ethanol is not our sole end-product, we prefer to use the term bioconversion to describe the multiplicity of the plant and end its products.

According to the investment plan the plant will use about 200 000 dry tons of sawdust and woodchips as raw material. The yearly production will mount up to about 63 000 m3 of ethanol and about 70 000 tons of firm lignin. The plant will directly employ around 40 – 50 persons, and indirectly several hundreds. The construction phase will require a work force of about 500 persons.

SEKAB E-Technology Ab, situated in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, will be the project technology partner. ‘The partnership with SEKAB is crucial for this project, as they have enabled the testing of the process in their own demo plant. We will build a plant for commercial purposes’, says Saini. ‘We find SEKAB technology extremely suitable for the BioEnergo project’, states Monica Normark, director of SEKAB. ‘The SEKAB bioconversion demo plant in Sweden has generated “ethanol from the wood” every day in more than ten years.’

According to Saini, it has been a challenge to find an adequate location for the new bioconversion plant. Venator Oy’s pigment plant on the industrial area of Kaanaa in Pori will close in 2021. Venator, Porin Prosessivoima Oy, Pori Energy Oy and Kemira have been interested in finding new actors to the area.

Saini is very pleased with Pori as the location for the project. ‘The presence of traditional chemical industry in the area gives the operations the necessary framework. Thanks to our partners Porin Prosessivoima and Kemira for instance steam, electricity, water and other facilities needed for the plant are already accessible. Also the plant position near the harbour is vital’, Saini describes.

‘The investment in the plant will have a very positive impact on Pori, which in many ways is looking for expansion’, says Janne Vartia, Business Manager of Pori.

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