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Fintoil to invest EUR 100 million in new biorefinery in Finland

In Finland, start-up venture Fintoil Oy has recently announced that it plans to invest over EUR 100 million in a new crude tall oil (CTO) biorefinery in the Port of HaminaKotka. Fintoil and Port of HaminaKotka have signed a lease agreement on a site located in the "Liquid Harbour" area of the port.

In Finland, Fintoil Oy has recently announced that it plans to invest over EUR 100 million in a new crude tall oil (CTO) biorefinery in the Port of HaminaKotka (photo courtesy Port of HaminaKotka).

Established in 2017, Fintoil refines crude tall oil (CTO) for use in second-generation biofuel production and the chemicals, food, and pharmaceutical industries. The company is owned by its key personnel and an investor group led by Finland-headed financial services and investment company Taaleri Group that also has a stake in the company.

According to a statement, Fintoil will build a crude tall oil biorefinery in Hamina and the company has signed a lease agreement on a site located in the oil and chemical area of the port. Neste Engineering Solutions Oy has been commissioned for engineering and delivery of the biorefinery.

Construction of the biorefinery, which will have an annual production capacity of 200 000 tonnes, will begin as soon as the company has secured the necessary environmental and building permits, estimated earliest at the end of 2020.

Assuming everything goes according to plan, start-up of the biorefinery could be as early as in 2022.

CTO volumes secured

Crude tall oil (CTO) is a by-product of pulp production. The carbon footprint of CTO derivatives is up to 90 percent lower than that of comparable fossil alternative products. More than 60 percent of the biorefinery’s output will be directed as feedstock to renewable diesel (HVO) production.

Crude Tall Oil (CTO) is a process residue from the pulping process. Amongst its findings, the recently conducted Ecofys study concludes that "the CTO market is not overly tight and potential surplus of about 850 000 tonnes of CTO is still available that could be tapped into" (illustration courtesy UPM Biofuels)..

Crude Tall Oil (CTO) is a processing residue from the pulping process. Amongst its findings, an Ecofys study concludes that “the CTO market is not overly tight and the potential surplus of about 850 000 tonnes of CTO is still available that could be tapped into” (illustration courtesy UPM Biofuels).

According to Fintoil, the extensive background of its key personnel in the tall oil industry has enabled the company to secure long-term contracts for sufficient raw material and sales volumes. Chairman John Lindahl’s career in the pulp and paper industry spans the management of investment projects at UPM-Kymmene, Madison Paper, Pöyry, Metsä Group and most recently as the Group Technical and Sustainability Director and a member of the Group Executive Committee at Mondi Group.

Jukka Ravaska, appointed as the Managing Director of Fintoil has an extensive background in the specialty chemicals industry from management and executive positions at Solvay, Akzo Nobel, Kraton and most recently as Supply Chain Manager at Forchem.

Port of HaminaKotka an ideal location

The largest universal port in Finland, the Port of HaminaKotka serves as an important hub in Europe and in the Baltic Sea region. Regular liner services ensure quick deliveries and connections to all parts of the world. The Port of HaminaKotka caters for all types of cargo: containers, RoRo, LoLo, dry bulk, liquid bulk, gas and project shipments of all types, and provides versatile value-added services.

The Port of HaminaKotka was selected as the location of the plant following long but ultimately easy deliberation. The Port of HaminaKotka is an optimum location from all perspectives – logistically ideal plus a door to superb infrastructure and ecosystem. The proficient personnel of the Port of HaminaKotka also deserve praise. They have made it easy for us to find a place here, said Jukka Ravaska, Managing Director of Fintoil commenting on the 18-month negotiation phase.

The transport of raw materials and finished products will add to the transport volumes of the Port of HaminaKotka in Hamina. The export shipments will primarily be destined to Europe, the United States (US), and Asia.

The tall oil distillation plant processes secondary product flows obtained from the pulp industry and represents exactly the type of port-related industrial activity that is sought by Port of HaminaKotka. This is a significant investment, well suited to the environment of the Liquid Harbour in Hamina, and will have a considerable employment impact for local people and businesses, said Kimmo Naski, CEO of Port of HaminaKotka Oy.

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