Papermaker to Produce Biodiesel from Wood Pulp

UPM expands plant in order to deliver 100,000 tons of advanced second generation biodiesel.

Finnish papermaker UPM said on Feb. 1 that it plans to build the world's first industrial-scale plant to refine a byproduct of wood pulp into biodiesel.

The plant at UPM's site in Lappeenranta, at an investment of 150 million euros (US$198 million), will be able to produce annually approximately 100,000 tons of advanced second generation biodiesel for transport after its planned completion in 2014.

The plant will refine crude tall oil, which is a byproduct of processing wood pulp, mostly from pine trees.

"The biofuels business has excellent growth potential," said UPM chief executive Jussi Pesonen. "The quality of our end product and its environmental characteristics has gained significant interest among a wide range of customers, and the investment is profitable."

The company said it is also considering building a second biorefinery, either in Finland or France, which would wood as the raw material and different technology.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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