The biofuels industry is full of promise. New EU legislation, breakthrough technologies and increasing demand for biofuels and biomaterials in global markets are building solid foundations for the future development of the industry.
The EU and national authorities have set very ambitious CO2 emission reduction targets and a legal framework that supports the growth of biofuels and the bioeconomy in general,” explains Sari Mannonen, Vice President, UPM Biofuels.
“The current trend highlights the strong role of advanced biofuels in decarbonising transport, including use in jet fuels, heavy duty fuels and marine diesel,” she adds.
“Advanced biofuels have proven to be a solid, profitable business for UPM. We have excellent growth opportunities not only in fuel retail and dedicated green fleets, but in the maritime sector too,” Mannonen confirms.
“There is pressure to reduce several kinds of emissions in maritime transport as well. Solutions to reduce sulphur emissions, such as installing scrubbers on vessels, are very expensive. Renewable sulphur-free drop-in fuels therefore offer an excellent alternative means of reaching emission reduction targets. I believe facts such as this will contribute to creating sustainable foundations for forthcoming investments in this sector in Europe.”
UPM’s Marko Janhunen, Vice President, Stakeholder Relations, UPM Biorefining, also welcomes the EU Commission’s new legislative proposal.
“The core point of the proposal is that we have to increase biofuel production significantly to be able to reach the new targets. The Commission’s target is for advanced biofuels to account for at least 3.6% of overall fuel consumption, which will necessitate substantial investment in new technologies utilising non-food raw materials.”
“I also agree with the mandate that the Commission has set for lignocellulosic biofuels — it is definitively needed. We are talking about relatively high volumes of advanced biofuels, so I believe that the new proposal will give producers an opportunity to move forward with their investment plans.”
Mannonen is proud of UPM’s recent achievements in the biofuels industry. “Thanks to our excellent R&D we have developed a new breakthrough technology and ramped up production for market entry in a relatively short time span.”
Main picture: Finland hosted the Lignofuels 2017 conference in February. Conference participants were offered an excursion to Lappeenranta to see the UPM Biorefinery in operation.