Kanteleen Voima is planning to build a biorefinery that would produce ethanol fuel from wood next to the thermal power plant in Haapavesi. The refinery would produce lignin and biogas as well as sludge, which could be used as fertiliser, as by-products. At the same time, the existing peat-fired power plant would be developed into a more efficient CHP plant that would satisfy strict environmental requirements and improve profitability by adding steam production to the existing electricity generation process.

The NordFuel refinery would employ a significant number of people locally, generate electricity flexibly and produce 65.000 tonnes of ethanol for transport every year. The refinery would also have the capacity to produce 250 GWh of biogas each year, which would make it the biggest producer of biogas in the Nordic countries.

The biorefinery is expected to begin operating in 2021. The total value of the investment is EUR 150 million.

NordFuel biorefinery in brief

Haapavesi is an excellent location for a biorefinery

The plan is to build the new biorefinery next to the Haapavesi thermal power plant in Eskolanniemi. Good transport links and the availability of raw materials make Haapavesi an excellent location for a biorefinery. Haapavesi is located within 100–160 kilometres of four ports (Kalajoki, Kokkola, Pietarsaari and Raahe) and is surrounded by forested lands.

In addition to the power plant, which has a heating capacity of 390 MW, the area is also home to a biofuel terminal. In connection with the new investment, the existing thermal power plant would be developed into an industrial CHP plant.

The Haapavesi power plant, which uses mainly peat, was built in 1989 and has been part of the operating reserve for many years. The biorefinery project would make it possible to utilise the power plant’s well-maintained infrastructure as well as to change the fuel base of the power plant from peat to a wood-dominated fuel mixture with lower emissions. The pre-existing production environment would also make it possible to take advantage of production side streams as well as to make use of the thermal energy and electric power produced by the power plant at the biorefinery.

1. The bioethanol refinery

2. Feedstock warehouse area

3. Biogas and water treatment unit

Growing need for biofuels

Renewable energy sources play an increasingly important role in meeting the EU energy targets, and there is increasing demand for liquid biofuels for transport.

Finland’s energy and climate strategy aims to increase the share of biofuels in transport to 30 per cent by 2030. The EU target is for 14 per cent of energy used in transport to come from renewable sources by 2030. The EU renewable energy policy and, in particular, Finland’s obligations guide us in this direction.

Finland aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80−95 per cent by 2050. The aim is to increase the use of renewable energy so that its share of final energy consumption increases to over 50 per cent in the 2020s. The EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) establishes an overall policy for the promotion of renewable energy up to 2030. The aim is to increase the share of renewable energy sources to at least 32 per cent of EU’s energy consumption.