EU energy commissioner, Indian PM visit Chempolis biorefinery

| May 10, 2011

The Chempolis Biorefining Park has been a busy place over the past month, hosting energy commissioners and prime ministers. Gunther Oettinger, the EU energy commissioner, took a tour of the facility that puts the 3G formico biorefining technology to use. Members of Chempolis, including Paivi Rousu, vice president of R&D, spoke to the commissioner on the company’s ability to make biofuels and biobased chemicals from nonfood raw materials during his visit. Along with Oettinger, Esa Hamala, the director general for the ministry of employment and the economy, also toured the facility in Oulu, Finland.

Nearly a month earlier, Farooq Abdullah, Indian minister of new and renewable energy, also visited the facility to discuss Chempolis’ technology. The prime minister was on a four-day tour across Finland that aimed to “promote cooperation in the exchange of renewable energy know-how and technology between the countries.”

Earlier this year Chempolis signed with a Chinese company to build a biorefining facility similar to the Oulu facility. The company has already appointed a managing director for the joint-venture, Esa Niemi, to oversee the company’s operations in its Asia Pacific pulp and biofuels businesses.

Chempolis has invested roughly $20 million in R&D, resulting in a portfolio of more than 100 patents. The facility in Oulu serves more purpose than just a place for visits, the company stated. “Our biorefinery enables us to give our customers a firsthand look at what our technologies can offer and provides us with an optimal facility for piloting R&D work,” adding that, “we can selectively fractionate customer-sourced biomass on an industrial scale, test product properties and generate detailed data for dimensioning the machinery and systems needed for large industrial biorefineries.”