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UPM to Build Major Biodiesel Refinery

Finnish paper company UPM is to build the world’s first industrial-scale plant to turn a wood byproduct into biodiesel.

The Lappeenranta, Finland, biorefinery will produce annually approximately 100,000 tonnes of advanced second generation biodiesel for use in vehicles, UPM says.

Construction of the biorefinery will begin in the summer of 2012 and be completed in 2014. UPM’s total investment will amount to approximately €150 million ($197 million).

UPM said in a statement that it saw profit in the biofuels business, calling the Lappeenranta project “the first step” in a plan to become a significant producer of advanced second generation biofuels.

UPM has plans to build another biorefinery in either Rauma, Finland, or Strasbourg, France. This biorefinery would also use wood as a raw material but use different technology to that of the Lappeenranta facility.

Earlier this year, Verso Paper Corp. completed a $45 million renewable energy project at its pulp and paper mill in Quinnesec, Mich.

The project includes design upgrades to the mill’s existing combination biomass boiler, a new biomass handling system and a new turbine generator.

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