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Lieksa bio-oil refinery construction breaks ground


Lieksa bio-oil refinery construction breaks ground

Personnel recruitment also begins with Production Manager search

Groundwork for the Green Fuel Nordic Oy biofuel production plant has commenced in Kevätniemi, Lieksa on Monday, 9 September 2019. The earthworks required for the initial phase of the production plant are slated to be carried out by Christmas, after which the work is halted until spring.

The technology itself has been ordered in advance from the Netherlands, from where the plant will travel by water to Finland as separate modules during summer 2020. Owing to its modular structure, the construction of the 25-metre-tall production plant will only take a few weeks. According to the plans, commercial operation is set to begin in late 2020 following the test phase.

“We visited the Netherlands last week, and the manufacturing of the GFN plant is now starting. The plant is fully assembled at the factory, tested, and then dismantled for transfer”, Green Fuel Nordic Oy CEO Timo Saarelainen explains.

Saarelainen states the project is progressing on schedule, and personnel recruitment can also commence as planned. The first search will be for a Production Manager to handle the plant’s operations, and public applications are set to open shortly in October.

The search for production staff will begin in the spring. The production staff will receive specific training in collaboration with employment authorities, with some personnel also receiving training in the Netherlands. 

In the first phase, the biofuel refinery will directly employ approximately 20 production plant personnel, along with a significant number of personnel for acquiring raw materials. The plant will provide employment to approximately a hundred people in total, including indirect employment.

“More jobs being created constantly”

The first phase of the Green Fuel Nordic Oy biofuel refinery investment is worth approximately 25 million euros. The long-term goal is to gradually build multiple additional production units, which is believed to increase the total effect on employment to several hundred jobs.

“A significant number of jobs have popped up around the biofuel industry, with more being created constantly”, Lieksa City Manager Jarkko Määttänen rejoices.

The city of Lieksa has invested approximately 3 million euros on the development of the bio industry area. In the summer, the city paved the bioterminal area in advance of a new operator starting in September. In addition, the new Talttatie road has been built in the area. Finally, Lieksan Kehitys Oy are hard at work updating the plans for an industrial spur line.

“We made the initial plans with Lieksa all the way back in 2015, and everything we agreed on has been perfectly realised”, Timo Saarelainen praises the city’s efforts.

80 percent of production output sold

The Green Fuel Nordic Oy Kevätniemi production plant utilises an all-new operating procedure, in which forest-based renewable raw materials from the vicinity of the production unit are refined into high-quality biofuel. The production plant operates using pyrolysis, and the raw material it uses comprises effluents from the forestry industry — including sawdust from sawmills, and crown trunks — which would otherwise be considered hazardous waste. In addition, trees from first thinning are an optimal source of raw material.

Bio-oil can be used for heating and transport fuel in place of light fuel oil, as well as raw material in, for example, chemistry and plastics manufacturing. The biomass used as raw material by the Lieksa biofuel production plant is 100 percent renewable and fully carbon neutral.

The raw material fed into the plant also partially works as an energy source for the production process, so no energy other than electricity is required in normal operation.

Bio-oil is in high demand. According to Timo Saarelainen, 80 percent of the production output from the first phase (totalling 24,000 tons per year) has already been sold.


More information: 

Timo Saarelainen 040 7076640

Matti Virtaala 050 550 7313 

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