Spinverse CEO Pekka Koponen speaks about future of energy at the Arctic Business Forum
Following the universal tendency, the European Union is striving to achieve ambitious energy and climate targets by 2020, including 10% requirement of renewable fuels in the transport sector. In many of those energy conservation measures and in terms of efficiency of energy use, Finland numbers among the leading countries in the world. Finland relies heavily on the energy efficiency as the source of most of the country’s cleantech business value.
By the same token, the topic of renewable energy was one of the most discussed at the latest Arctic Business Forum in Rovaniemi, where, on 6th of April, Pekka Koponen, CEO of Spinverse and Managing Director of Kaidi Finland, gave a speech on a new biofuel refinery planned for Finnish Lapland.
Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group, one of the leading bio energy companies in China, is planning to launch a pilot area in Kemi, Finland to develop the harvesting and procurement of “energy wood” – term coiled in Northern Europe, referring to small diameter wood from first forest thinnings, logging residue and stumps. The biodiesel refinery would produce 200,000 metric tons of a second-generation biofuel, of which the main feedstock is energy wood. The pilot area will be developed in tandem with the producers and suppliers, local entrepreneurs, the city of Kemi, as well as the best experts in the field. Already now, preparations for the project employ approximately 40 experts, while over 150 permanent positions will be created once the plant is operational. This, in turn, equals to 4,000 person-years of work for the overall construction and operation of the facility in addition to mill personnel. Furthermore, the plant will create several hundred jobs for related occupations such as harvesting entrepreneurs, transportation service providers and machine manufacturers. The goal is to have the refinery running by the end of the year 2019.
“Through this initiative we want to discover and establish best practices to harvest and store forest biomass. The practice of systematic collection of energy wood in Finland is relatively new, so there is a lot of potential for further development. For instance, one of the project’s goals is to find new harvesting methods and maximize the energy content of each delivery, thus optimizing the delivery cost of the wood”, says Pekka Koponen
In the long run, Kaidi aims to utilize only sustainably procured energy carriers (wood naphtha) with a lower refining value from the forest. In addition to local energy wood, the plant will utilize harvesting remains and even leftover bark from the forest industry. The completed second-generation refinery will produce biodiesel from wood-based feedstock, becoming the first of its kind in the world.
Established in 2016, Kaidi Finland is a renewable energy company, which plans to build a second generation biodiesel refinery in Ajos, Kemi by the end of 2019. Kaidi Finland is owned by one of China’s largest biorefining actors, Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group. Established in 1992 it currently has biomass-based power plant engineering and operations around China and in Vietnam.