NordFuel Oy is planning to build a biorefinery that would produce ethanol fuel from wood next to the Kanteleen Voima’s power plant in Haapavesi. The refinery would produce lignin and biogas as well as bio-based carbon dioxide, as by-products. The operation of the existing power plant would be changed into an energy center of the biorefinery, which would produce the heating and cooling energy needed by the site. Utilization of the existing infrastructure of the power plant area, e.g. the biofuel terminal, buildings, the district heating and cooling network of the site, facilities for maintenance, office and controlling the process as well as connections to the power grid, will improve the profitability of the project.

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 150 GWh of biogas each year, which would make it one of the largest producer of biogas in the Nordic countries.

NordFuel project at a glance

250 employees locally

A full truckload of traffic 2G fuel every fifth hour

Two truckloads of wood every hour; woodchips, sawdust and harvest residues

Bioethanol for 400,000 cars (10 % blend) and biogas for 15,000 cars

€300 million investment

Haapavesi is an excellent location for a biorefinery

The plan is to build the new biorefinery next to the Kanteleen Voima’s 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 100-150 kilometres radius of significant forest areas and remarkable number of production facilities, whose by-products NordFuel utilizes in its production. The location is also excellent (100-130 km) to four ports (Kalajoki, Kokkola, Pietarsaari and Raahe), through which bioethanol can be supplied to the markets.

The area already has the infrastructure needed by the new industry. Ready production environment includes e.g. 5 hectare biofuel terminal, the district heating and cooling network covering the site, existing production buildings, office, maintenance and controlling facilities as well as connections to the power grid and waterways.

Growing need for biofuels and new technologies

Finland’s energy and climate strategy aims to achieve carbon neutral Finland by 2035 and carbon negativity soon after. Achieving the target requires emission reduction measures in all relevant emission sectors, as well as maintaining adequate carbon sinks. Shifting to a low-carbon economy requires additional input particularly in the development and commercialization of bioeconomy, circular economy, clean technology solutions, energy efficiency, zero-emission power generation, energy storage solutions, and carbon capture and utilization, as well as research, development and innovation actions.

The emission reductions required from traffic are significant. Finland is committed to at least halve its traffic emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. According to Finland’s climate policy this will be achieved by raising the taxation of fossil fuels, by directing sustainably produced liquid biofuels particularly for heavy transport and aiming 30 percent share of sustainable biofuels in aviation by 2030 with the help of blending obligation (biofuel quota).

The EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) establishes an overall policy for the promotion of renewable energy. The EU target is for 14 per cent of energy used in transport to come from renewable sources by 2030. Furthermore, the aim is to increase the share of renewable energy sources to at least 32 per cent of EU’s total energy consumption.