Biomethanol refinery to open at pulp mill in Finland by 2024
Veolia announced April 6 the development of a biomethanol plant in Finland in close cooperation with Metsä Fibre, the largest cooperative forestry association in Europe. The biorefinery is expected to produce approximately 4 million gallons of CO2-neutral biomethanol per year adjacent to, and partly built into, Metsä Fibre’s Äänekoski plant in Finland. The project will “safely integrate the refining of crude sulfate methanol into the pulp-production process,” Veolia stated.
“Our biorefinery project with Metsä Fibre is in line with Veolia’s strategy to develop local energy loops allowing decarbonization and energy sufficiency,” said Estelle Brachlianoff, the chief operating officer of Veolia. “It illustrates our capacity to act as an ecological transformation enabler through industrial integration across various sectors to develop scalable and sustainable solutions for locally produced CO2-neutral fuels. The advantage of our industrial concept is that it is replicable at around 80 percent of the pulp mills worldwide. It has a potential to unlock an additional, locally generated feedstock of CO2-neutral biomethanol for biofuel that could be estimated at 2 million tons.”
The 50-million-euro plant is slated to come online in 2024 and is supported by a grant from the Finnish ministry of economy and employment.
Methanol is a versatile alcohol that has several fuel-related uses such as a bunker fuel for marine vessels, an input for chemical reaction with fats, oils and greases to make biodiesel, and many more.
Last July, Veolia and Total Energies partnered to develop CO2-based algae cultivation at Total’s La Mède former petroleum complex in the South of France, where the company now manufactures renewable diesel.