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UPM selects site for construction of biorefinery in Germany

UPM has selected Chemical Park Frankfurt-Höchst in Germany as potential site for construction of a proposed biorefinery.

The selection follows completion of more than five years of extensive technology development and piloting, the firm said.

UPM noted that the new industrial-scale biorefinery be equipped with novel technologies to convert sustainable raw wood material into bio-monoethylene glycol (bMEG), bio-monopropylene glycol (bMPG) and lignin.

The refinery will have production capacity of 150,000 metric tons annually, while its production will be based on hardwood from sustainably managed forests in Central Europe.

UPM Biochemicals vice-president Juuso Konttinen said: "We are truly excited about this opportunity to bring bio-based products to the market, which would enable replacement of fossil-based materials with new renewable alternatives.

"Renewable raw material and efficient processes enable significant reductions in CO2 footprint compared to fossil-based products. Furthermore, wood as a second generation raw material does not compete with food production."

The bio-monoethylene glycol is used for textiles, bottles, packaging and deicing fluids while bio-monopropylene glycol is used in composites, pharma and cosmetics or detergents.

Applications of lignin include wood resins, plastics or foams and coatings.

In order to assess the attractiveness of the business case, UPM will now undertake a 12-month detailed commercial and basic engineering study.

The firm plans to initiate its standard procedure of analyzing and preparing an investment decision for the project upon successful completion of all preparation phases.