Veolia to construct, own and operate a crude methanol refinery, integrated with Metsa Fibre’s bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland; investment supports creation of value-added products from Metsa's production side-streams

Sample article from our Bioeconomy

March 30, 2022 (press release) –

Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, and Veolia have signed a long-term partnership agreement on the refining of crude methanol generated in pulp production at the Äänekoski bioproduct mill into commercial biomethanol. As part of this cooperation, Veolia has decided to invest in the construction of a crude methanol refinery in connection with Metsä Fibre’s Äänekoski bioproduct mill. The refinery, owned and operated by Veolia, will be closely integrated into the bioproduct mill processes.

Veolia’s refinery investment will further strengthen Metsä Fibre’s bioproduct concept, which involves making various value-added products from production side streams and renewable wood raw material delivered to the mill. Biomethanol production adds value to methanol, and the resulting product can be used as traffic fuel, for example.

“Metsä Fibre’s unique bioproduct concept combines efficient raw material use with energy and environmental efficiency,” says Kaija Pehu-Lehtonen, SVP, Business Development from Metsä Fibre. “In accordance with the principles of the circular economy, production side streams – in this case, crude methanol – are utilised and upgraded to obtain products with the highest possible added value.” 

“The mill’s business model is based on an efficient partner network, in which various parties cooperate to upgrade new products. The ecosystem is home to businesses of various sizes and at various stages of development, which specialise in sectors such as biomaterials and bioenergy. Veolia’s project is a concrete example of how our bioproduct concept can be expanded with a new product in cooperation with partners,” says Pehu-Lehtonen.

“Veolia highly values how this industrial partnership has been developed based on a common vision to use natural resources more efficiently and create, from existing side streams, new sustainable bioproducts that can replace fossil based fuels and materials”, Jacob Illeris, Business Development Director Veolia Nordic.    

The bioproduct mill concept developed by Metsä Fibre takes resource efficiency and sustainability to an entirely new level. An extremely resource-efficient pulp mill lies at the core of the bioproduct mill concept. The concept makes it possible to convert pulp production side streams into valuable biochemicals, bio-based energy and other bioproducts that can be used to replace fossil-based materials and fuels.

Metsä Group

Metsä Group is leading the way in advancing the bioeconomy. We invest in growth, bioproduct development and a fossil free future. The raw material for our products is renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. We focus on the growth sectors of the forest industry: wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards, as well as tissue and greaseproof papers.  

Metsä Group’s annual sales amount to approximately EUR 6 billion, and we have around 9,500 employees in 30 countries. Our international Group has its roots in the Finnish forests: our parent company is Metsäliitto Cooperative which is owned by nearly 100,000 forest owners.  

Metsä Fibre

Metsä Fibre is a leading producer of bioproducts, biochemicals and bioenergy. We are the world’s largest producer of softwood market pulp and a globally significant manufacturer of sawn timber. There is a growing demand for our high-quality products, as renewable wood provides a responsible alternative to fossil-based materials. 

In 2021 our sales totalled approximately EUR 2.6 billion, and we have around 1,400 employees. Metsä Fibre is part of Metsä Group. 

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