We live in a changing world

Dependence on exhaustible, non-renewable fossil natural resources and the climate change caused by their use are significant forces driving political, social and business development. Transitioning to a low-carbon economy is one of the major global megatrends of our time. Reducing energy consumption and replacing the use of fossil natural resources with renewable raw materials are important means for realizing this development process.

The aim to reduce energy consumption is very challenging. The energy need in developing economies will grow as industrialization increases and the consumption by populations with rising affluence grows. As population growth continues, a shortage of food will emerge and food prices will rise. The food shortage can be partially attributable to environmental disasters and the industrial utilization of the food chain’s raw materials for non-food production.

Dependency on fossil oil is related to its utilization not only as an energy source and fuel for transportation, but also as a raw material for chemical industry products like plastics.

The scarcity of fossil oil that can be utilized cost-effectively increases its price. At the same time, the competitiveness of new bio-oils is improving, and progress is being made in the development efforts to utilize them in applications beyond energy production, e.g. in the chemical industry. The CO2-neutrality of second-generation bio-based fuels, eliminating the need for CO2 emissions allowances, also boosts competitiveness.

This development trend unlocks new business opportunities for open-minded, responsible companies that have operations based on e.g. technology developments leveraging innovative, renewable raw materials or on the commercial implementation of these technologies.

Why is it feasible to build biorefineries in Finland?

The EU’s intention of mitigating climate change has led to several directives and incentives guiding the activities of member countries. These include the so-called 20-20-20 target and the related Renewable Energy Sources (RES) target of 38% for Finland. They unlock attractive business opportunities for renewable bio-oil in Finland and elsewhere in Europe.

The growing forest assets also favor Finland as a location for biorefineries. The growth of well managed forests significantly exceeds the industrial use of sustainably utilizable wood. The conventional forest industry’s structural distress also releases more wood for new types of applications, e.g. for use as feedstock for biorefineries.

Stronger energy self-sufficiency

The biorefinery investments planned by Green Fuel Nordic support distributed energy production (generation that is located close to the feedstock and the consumption), which is strategically important for Finland. The investments also strengthen energy self-sufficiency and thereby the balance of trade by reducing the need to import fossil oil. Future prospects for bio-oil also include its use as a raw material for the chemical industry’s export products. 

Creating future jobs in industry

In the short term, the planned biorefineries will bring employment opportunities for local communities affected by forest industry restructuring; in the long term, they will provide new jobs in industry around Finland. In the future, bio-industry jobs will be directly and indirectly a significant source of well-being both locally and nationally. Additionally, biorefineries open a new, local refining path for forest biomass.

A new innovation environment

Green Fuel Nordic’s planned biorefinery investments also enable development of the engineering industry to support the refinery needs. Entirely new types of solutions can be found also for raw materials logistics. These innovations could eventually become Finnish export products.  

An R&D focused, multi-sector innovation network can be developed around the world-class biorefineries.

Share Print