NordFuel is preparing the construction of a biorefinery in Haapavesi, Northern Ostrobothnia. The biorefinery is planned to be built in the area of the former Kanteleen Voima peat power plant, utilizing the power plant’s infrastructure.
The construction of the biorefinery is an investment of about 400 million euros, which employs about 250 people.
From an emission source to a carbon sink
NordFuel biorefinery project was launched in 2016, and was incorporated at the end of 2020.
The biorefinery project started when planning started for the possibility of further use of the decommissioned peat power plant.
The production of biofuels was assessed as an overall economic solution, as the power plant is located in a forested area, in the middle of biomass production areas.
The project was refined to its current form through an environmental impact assessment.
Haapavesi’s location is exceptional
Haapavesi is an excellent location for a biorefinery in terms of raw material availability and good logistical connections. Haapavesi is located within a radius of 100–150 kilometers from significant forest areas and a considerable number of production facilities, whose side streams NordFuel uses in its production.
The location is also convenient to several ports (Kalajoki, Kokkola, Pietarsaari, Raahe and Oulu), through which the final products can be delivered to the market if necessary.
The existing infrastructure needed by the industry in the area is a significant cost benefit for the project.
During 2016-2018, an environmental impact assessment for the biorefinery was carried out. As a result, a preliminary concept plan was created for the bioethanol production process and a method for treating and purifying process water needed for biogas production.
The biorefinery’s environmental permit application was submitted to the Regional State Administration Agency of Northern Finland in the summer of 2018.
Handling of environmental permit application and investment support application
In July 2020, the Regional State Administration Agency of Northern Finland granted Kanteleen Voima Oy’s NordFuel biorefinery an environmental permit.
In June 2020, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment granted the project 24.5 million euros in investment support for large demonstration projects.
A tender was launched for an ethanol technology supplier, new ethanol production trials were carried out, and suppliers of process technology and main equipment were compared.
In addition, the raw material availability survey was carried out in cooperation with the Natural Resources Institute Finland, and preliminary agreements were prepared with raw material suppliers
Pre-planning and basic planning
In the ongoing pre-planning and basic planning phase, reliable design documentation and a cost estimate for the project are prepared.
The investment decision can be made when basic planning is completed and environmental permits are legal.
Construction and commissioning
After the investment decision and before starting construction, a building permit in accordance with the Land Use and Building Act (132/1999) is required.
The implementation phase starts with the investment decision and continues until the plant’s mechanical readiness. After this, the commissioning phase begins, which continues until the start of the biorefinery’s commercial operation.