Press release

Metso, Fortum, UPM, and VTT are jointly developing a clean energy alternative with domestic bio-oil

30 November 2009, 11:08 EET

Fortum, Metso, UPM, VTT Press release 30 November 2009

Metso, Fortum, UPM, and VTT are jointly developing a clean energy
alternative with domestic bio-oil

Metso, UPM, and VTT have developed a biomass-based bio-oil production concept to
provide an alternative to fossil fuels. Since June of this year, the Metso R&D  
Center in Tampere, Finland, has been producing high-quality bio-oil from sawdust
and forest residues. Fortum is now joining this development project.            

The consortium has developed a bio-oil production process in which a reactor,   
linked to a conventional fluidized bed boiler, can first gasify solid biomass   
and then compress it into liquid form. Through their five months of pilot       
testing and utilization of the R&D Center's 2 MW plant, the partners have       
improved the bio-oil production methods and the efficiency of the process.      
Already, more than 20 tons of bio-oil have been produced. An alternative to     
heavy and light fuel oils, domestic bio-oil decreases the burden on the         

The Finnish technology developers are committed to ongoing improvements in the  
production of bio-oil from renewable resources. It is the companies' vision that
combining bio-oil production with bioenergy-based power plants will also provide
them with new business potential, as well as remarkable cost and efficiency     
benefits. The companies' agreement for bio-oil test production extends through  

Fortum now brings the important energy producer and end-product user angle to   
the research and development project. “The long-term objective of Fortum is to  
be a company whose production does not cause carbon dioxide emissions. Use of   
bio-oil as a carbon-dioxide-neutral fuel is a promising option in our range of  
methods,” notes Maria Paatero-Kaarnakari, Senior Vice President, Corporate      
Strategy and R&D, Fortum.                                                       

Metso is in charge of the technological development of the pyrolysis reactor    
integrated into the fluidized bed boiler. Kari Kuukkanen, vice-president for    
Technology in Metso's Power business line, says, “Bio-oil is an alternative for 
fueling bioenergy-producing power plants and oil boilers, and it will also be   
able to be used as raw material for chemicals and biodiesel production in the   
future. We plan to improve the energy-efficiency of the process still further.” 

UPM adds to the project expertise in the use of biomass as raw material. “Our   
target is to utilize all parts of a tree. Bark, stumps, and small trees can be  
utilized in the process in order to produce liquid fuels in a cost effective    
way. The UPM mills provide an ideal infrastructure for developing the production
processes,” says Petri Kukkonen, Director, Biofuels at UPM.            

The bio-oil production process is based on VTT's earlier R&D and patents. In the
test production phase, VTT focuses on the control and quality of the bio-oil. In
the longer term, also bio-oil refining will be developed, for example, for      
feeding a conventional oil refinery. The projects are subsidized by the EU and  
Tekes - the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.               

Further information for the press, please contact:                              
Jukka Heiskanen, Development Director, R&D, Fortum Heat Division, 
tel. +358 50 452 4250
Petri Kukkonen, Director, Biofuel Business Area, UPM, tel. +358 204 15 0336     
Kari Kuukkanen, Vice President, Technology, Power business line, Metso,
tel. +358 400 623 059
Satu Helynen, Technology Director, VTT, tel. +358 20 722 2661                   

Metso is a global supplier of sustainable technology and services for mining,   
construction, power generation, automation, recycling, and the pulp and paper   
industries. The company has over 26,500 employees, in more than 50 countries.                                                                   

Fortum is an energy company focusing on the Nordic countries, Russia, and the   
Baltic region. The company's business consists of electricity and heat          
generation, their sales and distribution, and power plant operation and         
maintenance. Fortum Group employs approx. 13,500 people.          

Linking bioindustry with wood processing, UPM is a builder of a new, sustainable
and innovation-driven future. The company's products are based on renewable     
resources and are recyclable. With production facilities in 14 countries, UPM   
has a workforce of 24,000.                                   

VTT - the Technical Research Centre of Finland - is Northern Europe's largest   
organization specializing in applied sciences. It provides a wide range of      
technology and research services for its domestic and international customers,  
consisting of both companies and public-sector entities. VTT employs 2,700