Engineering contract awarded for UPM renewable diesel plant

By Erin Voegele | May 03, 2012

Global consulting and engineering company Pöyry PLC recently announced it has been awarded a contract for detail engineering of UPM’s proposed biorefinery project in Lappeenranta, Finland. According to information released by the company, the parties have agreed not to disclose the value of the contract.

Pöyry states the engineering contract includes services for civil and plant engineering, project control, procurement, document management and industrial safety. The services are to be carried out during a period spanning from 2012 to 2014. Pöyry said the assignment with UPM will strengthen its strategic position as a provider of engineering and project services to the biofuels and oil refining industries.

In February, UPM announced its intention to invest in the proposed Lappeenranta plant, which will be located at UPM’s Kaukas mill site.  Once complete, the facility will produce 100,000 metric tons (30 million gallons) of renewable diesel from crude tall oil feedstock on an annual basis. Construction on the €150 million ($198 million) project is scheduled to begin in 2012 and be complete in 2014.

According to UPM, the majority of the feedstock the new hydrotreatment plant will take in will be sourced from UPM’s pulp mills in Finland. The material is a residue produced as a result of chemical pulp production, and is mainly generated in the production of sulphate cellulose from softwood.

“Lappeenranta is the first step on UPM’s way in becoming a significant producer of advanced, second-generation biofuels,” said UPM President and CEO Jussi Pesonen. “Our biorefinery in Lappeenranta is the first significant investment in a new and innovative production facility in Finland during the ongoing transformation of the forest industry.”

In addition to the Lappeenranta project, UPM has plans to build a biorefinery in either Rauma, Finland, or Strasbourg, France. The plant would taking in woody biomass and use a different type of technology to produce biofuels. Plans for the second biorefinery are expected to be made during the second half of 2012, following an EU grant announcement.