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SunPine begins operations of new renewable crude diesel production unit

In April 2018 Swedish forest-based renewable crude fuel producer SunPine AB announced that it was investing in a new raw tall diesel production line at its facilities in Haraholmen, Piteå. Now completed and operational, the total production capacity at SunPine has been increased by almost 50 percent, to 150 000 m3 per annum.

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Now completed and operational, the total production capacity at SunPine has been increased by almost 50 percent, to 150 000 m3 per annum. In addition to renewable crude diesel, resin, turpentine and bio-oil are extracted at the plant (photo courtesy SunPine).

Jointly owned by Kiram, Preem, Sveaskog, Södra, and Lawter, SunPine is a leading producer of second-generation renewable fuels using crude tall oil (CTO), a by-product of pulp and paper manufacturing. Raw tall diesel from SunPine is used in the production of Preem’s Evolution Diesel.

The new production line was built as an open face facility (ie not enclosed in buildings) adjacent to the existing and operational production facility which posed its own set of practical challenges not least during construction.

It is important to think a bit like a choreographer. You need to carefully consider everything from what is even possible, to when different vehicles can pass through the narrow passages without disturbing ongoing production, The challenges that the project team had to deal with during the construction were far from minor. We faced a delayed environmental permit, winter construction, and a global pandemic. Despite this, we now have a completely new factory in place. It has been an amazing journey for everyone involved, said David Öquist, CEO of SunPine.

According to Södra, it together with the other shareholders, has invested SEK 400 million (≈ EUR 39.2 million) in the new line for the production of raw pine diesel and with the new capacity, total production will increase to 150 000 m3 or 150 million litres per annum.

This is almost 50 percent more than before and the increase means that SunPine alone will be able to supply three percent of Sweden’s diesel demands thus contributing to Sweden’s renewable transition.

This is a textbook example of the value we create by using the whole tree. The raw material is a residual product from paper and pulp production, which is then processed so that it can be used straight off in a diesel car, for example. It is proof of the forest’s opportunities to contribute to society’s green transformation. Here we want to be involved and continue to show the way, said Gustav Tibblin, Member Manager of Södra and Board Member of SunPine.

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