March 30, 2022 - Metsä Fibre and Veolia have signed a long-term partnership agreement on the refining of crude methanol, which is generated in the production of pulp at the Äänekoski bioproduct mill (Finland), into commercial biomethanol.
As part of the agreement, Veolia will invest in the construction of a crude methanol refinery in connection with the Äänekoski bioproduct mill. The refinery will be owned and operated by Veolia and closely integrated into the bioproduct mill's processes.
"The mill's business model is based on an efficient partner network, in which various parties cooperate to upgrade new products," said Kaija Pehu-Lehtonen, SVP, Business Development for Metsä Fibre. "The ecosystem is home to businesses of various sizes and at various stages of development, which specialise in sectors such as biomaterials and bioenergy. Veolia's project is a concrete example of how our bioproduct concept can be expanded with a new product in cooperation with partners."
The bioproduct mill concept developed by Metsä Fibre makes it possible to convert pulp production side streams into valuable biochemicals, bio-based energy and other bioproducts that can be used to replace fossil-based materials and fuels.
Jacob Illeris, Business Development Director Veolia Nordic, added, "Veolia highly values how this industrial partnership has been developed based on a common vision to use natural resources more efficiently and create, from existing side streams, new sustainable bioproducts that can replace fossil based fuels and materials."
Metsä Group´s Äänekoski bioproduct mill is the largest wood-processing plant in the northern hemisphere. The mill began its operations in 2017 and reached its nominal capacity in August 2018.
The mill produces 1.3 million tonnes of softwood and birch pulp per year, most of which is exported mainly to Europe and Asia. The mill's pulp is used for for board, tissue and printing paper and speciality products.
The Äänekoski mill is called a bioproduct mill since it is increasing the product portfolio with new bioproducts, generating excess bioenergy, and using no fossil fuels. The mill utilises 100 per cent of its wood raw material as well as production side streams. In addition to high-quality pulp, it produces a broad range of other bioproducts, such as tall oil, turpentine, bioelectricity, product gas, sulphuric acid and biogas. Upgrading of lignin and manufacture of textile fibres from pulp are progressing at the research stage.
Metsä Fibre, part of the Metsä Group, is a leading producer of bioproducts and bioenergy. Metsä Fibre produces pulp and other bioproducts at four mills in Finland: Joutseno, Kemi, Rauma and Äänekoski; and also has six sawmills: Kyrö, Lappeenranta, Merikarvia, Renko and Vilppula (in Finland) and in addition, Metsä Svir sawmill in Russia. To learn more, visit: www.metsafibre.com.
SOURCE: Metsä Fibre
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