St1´s and SOK´s joint venture NEB plans 50-million-litre Cellunolix® bioethanol plant in Pietarsaari

Acting on behalf of North European Bio Tech Oy (NEB), St1 has begun the analysis and signed letters of intent with Alholmens Kraft and UPM on a sawdust-based ethanol plant in the Alholma industrial area in Pietarsaari. The planned production capacity of the plant is 50 million litres of advanced bioethanol per year.

The Cellunolix® plant, which utilises sawdust and recycled wood, is planned for UPM´s Alholma industrial area. Alholmens Kraft and UPM would provide the project with the mill site´s services and commodities and where possible, would utilise the by-products of the ethanol production in their own processes.

In order for the investments to be implemented and the project to proceed, an environmental impact assessment procedure (EIAP) and an approved environmental permit will be required. Likewise, the profitability and operational experience of the NEB´s soon to start Cellunolix® plant in Kajaani will affect investment decisions – as will the development of legislation concerning the construction and use of biofuel plants. The project which is subject of the letter of intent is estimated to be in the investment decision stage in 2018, and the Cellunolix® plant manufacturing bioethanol for transport purposes could therefore start up in 2020.

According to the preliminary plans, North European Bio Tech would invest in a plant utilising sawdust as feedstock. St1 Biofuels Oy will plan and deliver the plant, coordinate the project and, as the operator, carry out production. The production capacity of the plant would be leased to North European Oil Trade Oy (NEOT), which engages in the oil and bioproduct wholesale trade, and which is an associated company of SOK and St1.

The Pietarsaari project would have an important employment impact. In the planning and implementation phase the employment impact would be approximately 500 man years, of which an estimated 350 man years would be accounted for by domestic labour. Upon completion, the Pietarsaari bioethanol plant would employ permanently 25 people in uninterrupted shift work and indirectly approximately 70 people in, among other areas, logistics and maintenance.

Expansion plans also in Kajaani

St1 is at the forefront in the production and production technology of waste-based advanced ethanol. The company already has four Etanolix® plants using waste from the food industry and one Bionolix® plant using biowaste from shops and households as their feedstock. In addition, St1 Biofuels has delivered to NEB an Etanolix® plant for the St1 refinery in Gothenburg.

St1 is currently taking into use the 10-million-litre Cellunolix® plant that it delivered to NEB in Kajaani. The plant, which manufactures advanced ethanol from sawdust, will reach full production speed during 2017. Along with the letters of intent concerning Pietarsaari, NEB will look into expanding the Kajaani plant. One option also being considered is the construction of a new Cellunolix® bioethanol plant with an annual capacity of 50 million litres in Kajaani. The assessment of the environmental impacts will be completed at the beginning of 2017. An environmental permit will be sought for the plant before the investment decision is made.

For more information: 
St1 Biofuels, Head of Sales and Business development Patrick Pitkänen, +358 40 7756200,
North European Oil Trade Oy (NEOT), Sustainability and Biofuels Expert Timo Huhtisaari, +358 10 768 0958,
SOK, Business Development Manager, ABC chain, Tiina Vehmala-Viksten, +358 50 388 3184,
Alholmens Kraft, Acting Managing Director Björn Åkerlund, +358 40 7798 503

St1 is a Nordic energy group whose vision is to be a producer and seller of CO2-aware energy. The company researches and develops economically viable, environmentally sustainable energy solutions. St1 consists of two sister groups: St1 Nordic focuses on fuels marketing activities in Finland, Sweden and Norway and on renewable energy solutions such as waste-based advanced ethanol fuels and industrial wind power. The group has 1,450 St1 and Shell branded retail stations in Finland, Sweden and Norway. The sister group St1 Group focuses on oil refining. Headquartered in Helsinki, the company employs 700 people.

SOK (SOK Corporation), which is owned by the cooperatives in the S Group, operates as the central company for the cooperatives and provides them with procurement, expert and support services. SOK is also responsible for the strategic guidance of S Group and the development of the various chains. SOK Corporation comprises SOK and its subsidiaries. SOK´s subsidiaries engage in, among other things, the hotel and restaurant trade and in business operations in the regions bordering Finland.

Oy Alholmens Kraft Ab is one of the largest bio-fueled power plants in the world. The power plant is located at UPM's mill site in Leppäluoto, Pietarsaari. In addition to generating electricity (265 MWe), the power plant provides district heating for the residents of Pietarsaari (60 MWdh) and process steam and heating for the UPM Pietarsaari mill (100 MWth). More than 1 TWh of biofuels are used in production annually, and the aim is to continuously increase the proportion of green fuel.

St1 Nordic Oy, Interim Report January-June 2016


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