Finnish forest industry company UPM has begun construction a one-of-a-kind bio-refinery in the city of Leuna in the eastern German regional state of Saxony-Anhalt. The refinery will make synthetic chemicals from sustainably grown beech trees for use in producing textiles, plastics, cosmetics and medications.
UPM is investing EUR 550 million in the facility, which will have an annual production capacity of 220,000 tons.
“Saxony-Anhalt is increasingly developing into a state for future technologies, and this expansion in the construction of a bio-refinery is a big part of that,” said Saxony-Anhalt State Premier Reiner Hasseloff at the groundbreaking ceremony in October.
The refinery has already won the 2020 Bio Act of the Year from World Bio Economic Forum.
“Our goal is to invest in a future without fossil based raw materials,” said UPM Executive Vice President Technology Jyrki Ovaska at that event. “Investing in this biorefinery is a milestone in the continuing transformation of our company.”