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Andritz to supply bio-methanol plant for Södra's Mönsterås pulp mill

Austria-headed international technology group Andritz AG has announced that it has received an order from Swedish forest owner's Södra to supply a bio-methanol cleaning and purification unit for Södra’s pulp mill in Mönsterås, Sweden. The treatment plant to be supplied has an annual design capacity of 5 000 tonnes of bio-methanol.

An artist’s rendering of Andritz’s bio-methanol plant to be supplied to Södra’s Mönsterås pulp mill (image courtesy Andritz).

In September 2017, Södra announced that it would invest over SEK 100 million (≈ EUR 10.56 million) in the production of bio-methanol at its Mönsterås pulp mill. According to Andritz, the plant is a key part of a new process producing sustainable bio-methanol from a renewable raw material.

The methanol produced is compliant with the IMPCA Reference Specifications for merchantable methanol. Start-up of the plant is scheduled for the third quarter of 2019. The value of the order has not been disclosed.

A platform chemical, global annual methanol production is in the order of 80 million tonnes and is primarily produced from fossil raw materials. In the chemical wood pulping process, methanol is formed as a by-product that contains many impurities.

Henrik Brodin, Business Development Manager-Energy at Södra, outlining the various material and energy flows at Södra’s pulp mills during the Lignofuels 2018 conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands earlier this year.

By purifying the raw methanol into a merchantable bio-methanol, which is chemically identical to fossil-based methanol, the bio-methanol generated contributes towards reducing the amount of fossil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

If Sweden is to achieve the fossil-free climate targets, there must be viable alternatives to the fossil-fuel products that are currently available. The investment in the new bio-methanol cleaning and purification plant contributes towards reaching this target. It is also a major part of Södra’s own strategy to be totally fossil-free by 2030, said Henrik Brodin, Business Development Manager-Energy at Södra.

The bio-methanol can be used in shipping, for example, as a stand-alone fuel, as well as for the production of biodiesel (RME), as an additive in gasoline, or as a raw material in the chemical industry.

We are pleased to help Södra in achieving their sustainability targets with our innovative products and technologies. This is further proof of our excellent cooperation and partnership with Södra, said Kari Tuominen, President and CEO of Andritz Oy, Finland.

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