Södra will invest more than SEK 100 million in the production of biomethanol, a sustainable fuel from forest raw material. The project will commence in autumn 2017 and is scheduled to be ready for operation by spring 2019.
The aim is to produce 5,000 tonnes of biomethanol per year at the new facility to be situated at Södra’s pulp mill at Mönsterås. The long-term aim is to further increase production for passenger, truck and ship transport.
“More and more people are realising why we need to switch to fossil-free alternatives, but products must also move forward. We have access to the best and most renewable raw material available – forests. We also have the industrial expertise required for these types of complex and innovative products,” said Catrin Gustavsson, Senior Vice President of Innovation and New Business at Södra.
The biomethanol will be made from the crude methanol produced by the manufacturing process at Södra’s pulp mill. It will be part of the circular process that already exists at Södra’s mills, in which all parts of the forest raw material are used for the best possible effect. The first delivery will reach the market in spring 2019.
“If Sweden is to achieve the fossil-free climate targets, there must be viable alternatives to the fossil-fuel products that are currently available. This will be a major milestone in that development. It’s also in line with Södra’s own strategy to be totally fossil-free by 2030,” said Henrik Brodin, Business Developer for fuels at Södra.
Södra’s biomethanol is produced entirely from forest raw material, which means that fossil carbon emissions from burning are zero. The production process does, however, account for a marginal fossil carbon emission at present. From a climate footprint perspective, replacing fossil fuel with Södra’s biomethanol will reduce CO₂emissions by about 99 percent – the highest percentage in the market today.