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Construction starts on UPM biochemicals plant

Finnish paper giant UPM has officially begun construction of its Biochemicals’s division’s €550 million facility at Leuna, Germany. The plant is expected to start production by the end of 2022. At the World BioEconomy Forum in September, the investment won the award for Bio Act of the Year.

“The biorefinery in Leuna will be the nucleus for an entirely new and high-value growth business and opens totally new markets for UPM with large growth potential for the future,” said Jyrki Ovaska, EVP of Technology at UPM.

It will produce up to 20,000 tonnes/year of bio-monoethylene glycol for use in the production of textiles, plastics, PET, packaging and industrial coolants, and lignin-based functional fillers as alternatives to rubber, plus bio-monopropylene glycol and industrial sugars from locally sourced and sustainably harvested beechwood. UPM developed much of the technology over the past ten years.

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