St1 opens production of bioethanol in Lappeenranta

The official opening of the plant is performed today (18.9.2007) in Helsinki by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mauri Pekkarinen.

Along with the plant St1 will also be spearheading a dispersed production concept of bioethanol. Utilization of waste in the energy production process is essential for achieving the climate objectives required. By using biowaste as crude material, the company will be able to refine the traffic fuel biocomponent in the purest way possible in the world.

The goal of St1 is to be the leading manufacturer and vendor of CO2-free energy products. The company researches and develops environment friendly solutions which are carried out cost effectively. The dispersed production concept of bioethanol, ”Etanolix”, is a great example of the company´s operations. Etanolix concept is implemented by St1 Biofuels Oy, which is a joint venture of St1 and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The concept is an innovative production model based on dispersed production – the production of bioethanol and dehydration are separated. The small size of the etanolix plant enables the units to be situated as near as possible to the crude material and the consumers of the by-product animal feed. The construction of the plant can be carried out without heavy investments in the infrastructure. Due to its modular structure the plant is quickly assembled using standard parts – even alongside an industrial establishment. The energy efficiency of the Etanolix plant attains a whole new level and the implementation of the latest automation technology enables remote control of the plant.

The usual production capacity of the Etanolix plant will vary between 1000 – 2000 m3 of absolute bioethanol per annum. The plant is only about 1/100 in size compared to the traditional first generation bioethanol plants. However, the investment in relation to the profit made is on an equal level with the traditional larger units. The Etanolix concept is clearly more profitable than the traditional methods used. This is ensured by low operation costs and also by the income from waste reception and the byproduct animal feed. The Etanolix concept reduces not only the logistic costs of the biofuel production, but also the logistic costs of waste management and animal feed industry. The environmental multiplier impact is significant.

The Etanolix plant is producing 85 proof alcohol which is then transported to the company´s dehydration unit starting operation in Hamina at the beginning of next year. The alcohol is there distilled up to 99,8 proof and is ready to be mixed with gasoline. The high level of energy efficiency reached in the product development of the dehydration unit has also made dehydration of other ethanol streams economically profitable. At the first stage, the crude material used in the Etanolix plant consists of waste, rejected and byproducts of the food industry. SITA Finland Oy Societe Industrielle des Transports Automobiles) is the national cooperation partner of St1 Biofuels Oy and also quarantees the availability of the crude material from small waste producers. The current product development is aimed at the utilization of waste paper, community waste and process streams of industry. Additionally, through the closed production system of the Etanolix concept, a new possibility to a considerably higher energy efficiency and reduction of CO2-emissions is created for the production line based on areas under cultivation. By the end of the year 2011, the annual amount of absolute bioethanol manufactured from waste in Finland using the Etanolix concept will be about 70 million litres. The corresponding potential in other EU-countries is still higher due to larger population and production quantities. On EU-level this means an annual production of 5 million litres of bioethanol manufactured from biowaste using the Etanolix concept. The amount is more than three times the total bioethanol production of the EU during the year 2006 (1,6 million litres).

The Etanolix concept will be available on global market in the form of licenced agreements. The objective of St1 Biofuels Oy is to make the Etanolix concept the global market leader in the dispersed production of bioethanol.

Further information:

Mika Anttonen, St1 Group, Chairman of the Board
+358 40 500 9798,

Kim Wiio, St1 Oy, Managing Director
+358 44 567 8964,

Antti Pasanen, St1 Biofuels Oy, Managing Director
+358 40 7621 388,

Tapio Koivu, VTT, Ventures, Executive Vice President
+358 20 722 6943,

SITA Finland
Jorma Kangas, SITA Finland Ltd, Managing Director
+358 10 540 2201,

St1 energy company is implementing through operations its vision of being the leading manufacturer and vendor of CO2 -free energy products. The emphasis of growth is on the operations of St1 Biofuels Oy founded together with VTT. St1 strenghtened the company´s position in Finland by purchasing oy Esso ab in the summer of 2007. St1 now operates more than 400 service stations in Finland, 41 stations in Sweden and 4 distribution units in Poland. St1 also sells electricity to consumers and smaller companies and is a large scale vendor of heating oil all over Finland. The company distributes aviation fuels at Helsinki-Vantaa airport and also at Tampere and Vaasa airports. The turnover of the St1 Group will exceed 800 M euros this year. The number of regular employees is over 120.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a multidisciplinary contract research organisation involved in many international assignments. With its more than 2700 employees, VTT provides a wide range of technology and applied research services for its clients, private companies, institutions and the public sector. VTT is striving to improve the well-being of society and to enhance the technical and economic performance of its clients. VTT’s Venture activity manages and commercialises VTT’s intellectual property rights (IPR). VTT actively develops its IPR-portfolio and commercialises it together with clients, financing organisations and other partners.

SITA is the biggest enviromental management company in Europe and it is part of the international SUEZ Group. SUEZ supplies sustainable solutions for essential environmental services (water, sanitation and waste services) to industrial and individual customers around the world. SITA Finland collects waste from over a million Finnish customers and it`s also a major collector of recyclable materials. With its 450 employees, SITA Finland operates all over the Finland and offices locate in Vantaa, Tampere, Heinola, Porvoo, Kotka, Turku, Vaasa, Uusikaupunki, Lappeenranta and Seinäjoki.

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