The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for UPM’s possible Kotka Biorefinery in Finland has been completed and given to the authorities for their final conclusions. The UPM Kotka Biorefinery would produce approximately 500,000 tonnes of advanced biofuels made from sustainable raw materials for use in the road transport, marine and aviation sectors. The biorefinery’s products could also be used for replacing fossil raw materials in the chemical industry.
The renewable and sustainable raw materials and efficient processes of the possible Kotka Biorefinery enable significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil-based fuels and products. According to the EIA conducted by consultancy company Pöyry, the UPM Kotka Biorefinery would have substantial positive impacts such as increasing utilization of wastes and residues as well as decreases in greenhouse gas emissions. The decrease of the greenhouse gas emissions achieved by the biorefinery would be as much as 16% of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by Finnish road traffic – equivalent to three times the greenhouse gas emissions of a city the size of Helsinki.
If realized, the UPM Kotka Biorefinery would also have a very positive effect on the Kotka region’s economic life and finances. The proposed site is in the area of a dismantled power plant formerly run by the Pohjolan Voima energy company.
The Environmental Impact Assessment states that the UPM Kotka Biorefinery is feasible, and the possible environmental impacts can be limited by the means stated in the assessment. If the biorefinery goes ahead, the main environmental impacts will be caused by increased traffic and changes in the landscape.
The results of the assessment will be covered more thoroughly in a public event organized on October 15 in Cafe Neptunus in Kotka. The EIA is part of the approximately year-long pre-study phase for the Kotka Biorefinery, looking at the feasibility of the project. EU and national policies on biofuels will also play an important role in the final assessment of this possible investment. The final conclusions of the authorities for the EIA are expected in the beginning of next year.