Inauguration of the world’s first fossil-free biomethanol plant
On Wednesday, 7 October, Sweden’s Minister for Enterprise Ibrahim Baylan inaugurated Södra’s plant for commercial biomethanol at the pulp mill in Mönsterås. Members of the European Parliament Fredrik Federley, Jytte Guteland and Jessica Polfjärd were present at the inauguration as well as Professor Johan Kuylenstierna of the Swedish Climate Policy Council.
“Södra’s investment is entirely in line with the European Green Deal as set out by the European Commission, which has the aim of dramatically reducing our carbon footprint and reducing emissions. By manufacturing the world’s first fossil-free biomethanol, we are demonstrating how engineering prowess and innovation can contribute to the transition of society. We are pleased that the importance of this kind of investment is understood by politicians,” said Lena Ek, Chairman of Södra.
The transition to a bioeconomy means that all raw materials must be used efficiently. The biomethanol will be made from the crude methanol derived from the manufacturing process at Södra’s pulp mill, where the premise is that all of the parts of the renewable wood raw material are used as efficiently as possible.
“Södra’s strength lies in its extensive value chain, from sustainable forestry and renewable raw materials to modern industries and a healthy tradition of research and development. This means that we have the expertise required to develop these types of complex and innovative products,” said Catrin Gustavsson, Senior Vice President of Innovation and New Business at Södra.
Södra is investing extensively in liquid biofuel and has robust sustainability targets of its own for entirely fossil-free transportation by 2030.
“With this dynamic move and climate-friendly investment, we are looking outward and showing the way to reduced fossil dependency across several markets. At the same time, this is just the beginning of a journey in which we have the opportunity to develop products together with our customers. We can already see substantial interest from different segments and stakeholders from across the globe,” said Magnus Björkman, Business Area President Södra Cell.
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Founded in 1938, Södra is Sweden’s largest forest-owner association, with 53,000 forest owners as its members. We conduct modern and responsible forestry, and operate state-of-the-art mills in which we process our raw material. In 2019, net sales amounted to SEK 23 billion and employees totalled 3,100. Through value-generating relationships and a long-term approach, Södra shows the way for the next generation of forestry.