The CO2 neutral biomethanol will boost the EU biofuel feedstock and strengthen European fuel independence
The project opens a significant potential for biomethanol production, estimated at around 2 million tons, as the concept is replicable at most of the pulp 1 mills worldwide
Veolia launches the world's largest biorefinery project producing CO2-neutral bio-methanol from a pulp mill, located in Finland. The project allows to unlock the potential of this alternative source of feedstock for biofuel that is almost completely unexplored to date.
Developed in close cooperation with Metsä Fibre, the world’s largest producer of softwood market pulp and a globally significant manufacturer of sawn timber, the refinery will be based on Veolia’s innovative industrial scale concept of commercial bioproduct-derived biomethanol production, which safely integrates the refining of crude sulphate methanol into the pulp production process.
The project will contribute to European energy security while supporting the European Green Deal decarbonization ambitions for transportation, as the industrial grade quality CO2-neutral biomethanol represents a new source of sustainable low carbon fuel replacing fossil-based fuels.
The refinery, owned and operated by Veolia, will be adjacent and partly built into Metsä Fibre’s Äänekoski plant in Finland. With an annual production capacity of 12.000 tons, the plant, due to come on stream by 2024, will allow to avoid up to 30.000 tons of CO2 emissions per year2. The 50 million euros investment is supported by a grant from the Finnish ministry of economy and employment.
"Our biorefinery project with Metsä Fibre is in line with Veolia’s strategy to develop local energy loops allowing decarbonization and energy sufficiency. 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,", commented Estelle Brachlianoff, COO of Veolia. "The advantage of our industrial concept is that it is replicable at around 80% 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."
Veolia group aims to be the benchmark company for ecological transformation. With nearly 179,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides game-changing solutions that are both useful and practical for water, waste and energy management. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and replenish them. In 2021, the Veolia group provided 79 million inhabitants with drinking water and 61 million with sanitation, produced nearly 48 million megawatt hours and recovered 48 million tonnes of waste. Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE) achieved consolidated revenue of 28,508 billion euros in 2021.