Questions and answers about the biorefinery

Here you will find more information about the plans to locate a biorefinery adjacent to the Östrand pulp mill.

What does SCA want to build at Östrand?

Östrand is one potential location for a future biorefinery. The planned biorefinery will use residual products from forest operations and the forest industry in the production of liquid biofuels.

Why a biorefinery?

SCA wishes to grow in renewable energy and to offer more products that contribute to the sustainable development of society. Through efficient forest operations, industrial tradition and innovative development, the best possible conditions exist to create the biofuel of the future. The biofuels that could be produced may replace standard fossil fuel, which will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The production of biofuels could also increase the added value of all forest and benefit the entire region.

Why does SCA want to build the facility in Timrå?

There are many advantages to integrating a biorefinery with a sulphate pulp mill. Steam and renewable electricity can, for example, be taken directly from the pulp mill and used in fuel production. Biomass (sawdust, bark, and root) can also be used in production. Biomass is already transported to Östrand from sawmills and forests in the region. Östrand is a world-class, energy-efficient pulp mill. A biorefinery linked to Östrand could utilize residual products and locally produced green electricity from the pulp mill. The systems-based approach and ambition to close the eco cycle would mean a unique project was taking place in Timrå.

When will construction start?

No decision has been made as to when construction can begin on the facility. To be ready for an investment decision, the site has begun to be prepared for industrial land. A decision on construction is dependent on the laws and conditions that will be applied to biofuels over the next few years when the conditions for a decision are in place.

How much could a biorefinery in Östrand produce?

The exact amount of biofuel that the biorefinery will produce is not clear, but the facility is permitted for 300,000 tons annually. This volume corresponds roughly to 3-4% of Sweden's current fuel consumption.

Why would SCA's facility be unique?

The main difference is that raw materials for the biorefinery would be from the forest residues. And, that forest energy residue from other manufacturing operations, for example Östrand, can be recycled as biofuel. Moreover, the facility could be run using SCA's own green electricity from Östrand. It is the systems-based approach and ambition to close the eco cycle that make the project truly unique.

What type of communication can we expect with relevant stakeholders?

During the permit application, several dialogue processes took place in the form of consultations and meetings with interested parties, municipal politicians, business, organizations, associations, and private individuals. The public was invited to a consultation on March 21, 2018. Before an investment decision has been made, it is primary this website that will be kept up to date with information about the project.

How many new jobs do you expect the facility to create?

The project is expected to generate 60 direct and 660 indirect full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs annually, creating new green employment opportunities that will benefit the local and national economy.

What types of jobs will be created?

Several different professions will be needed in this type of facility. Plant operators, engineers, electrical and mechanical maintenance engineers, etc.

Will there be an odor from the biorefinery?

Great attention has been focused on ensuring that odors are eliminated, for instance using closed systems when handling bark, sawdust, etc. Finished products, such as sustainable aviation fuel, will be handled in completely closed systems.

Will the facility be noisy?

A refinery contains equipment that when the facility is in operation generates noise, such as pumps, compressors, fans, etc. Handling biomass, flaring and transportation also creates noise. The facility will be constructed in such a manner as to minimize noise levels. Some noise will, however, arise during the construction of the facility.

How much more traffic will there be?

Transportation will take place of solid wood raw materials to the facility in the form of sawdust, bark, brash and chemicals and various input goods needed for the process. Liquid raw materials will be pumped through pipes from the adjacent pulp mill.

An estimated 120 trucks per day on average will enter the facility and a similar number of empty trucks will leave, a total of 240 trucks per day. Current truck traffic, including traffic that is expected as part of the expansion of the pulp mill, some 530 vehicles per day, will rise to 770 vehicles each day.

Transportation of sustainable aviation fuel from the facility and certain inbound chemical transportation will be conducted using vessels docking at the Östrand pulp mill. An estimated 40 vessels will dock at the mill each year.

Will the facility discharge emissions to water?

The process will produce effluent water which will be treated before it enters the sea, either in the pulp mill's treatment system or in own treatment equipment at the biorefinery. Surface water will be collected and sent to a surface water facility.

What will happen to Merlobäcken (a stream situated at the west)?

The reinforced line, which is needed to stabilize and expand the land area, joins to land to the west about 15 meter north of the mouth of Merlobäcken. This means you can follow the stream all the way to the sea and the mouth will be unchanged.

Are there any risks with the facility?

Risks with the planned activities at the Östrand biorefinery consist of fire, gas emissions or explosions linked to the handling of sawdust, bark and pellets, and the production or use of flammable products and gases including petrol, diesel, hydrogen gas and LPG.

Risks associated with the biorefinery are not new nor unknown. The flammable liquids and gases that will be handled at the biorefinery are handled by many refineries and fuel terminals in Sweden and other locations worldwide. Examples in Sweden include the refineries in Gothenburg and Lysekil. This type of facility must fulfil rigorous requirements.

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) will draw up guidelines for the design of the facility to ensure it is safe for people working at the facility and for housing and buildings nearby. Safety issues have the highest priority. Biorefinery Östrand AB and relevant authorities will ensure that risks associated with the operations are managed in the best possible manner.

How large will the facility be?

The area for all sections of the facility will be about 20 hectares, an area equivalent to about 40 football pitches. There will be silos, an oil terminal, and buildings with driers. The facility is planned to be in operation around the clock and 365 days per year. The production of biofuels is planned to amount to 300,000 tonnes of hydrocarbon per year when the facility is fully operational.

Is there enough space for all of this at Östrand?

There is not sufficient space currently for the biorefinery. More space is required and the area for the planned biorefinery must be stabilized. To ensure stability for the entire area, the earth will be reinforced. Contaminated sediment that is currently in the water will be stabilized and used for the planned land construction. A reinforced line – a stable and sealed barrier – will be built in the bay at an adequate distance from the restricted shore zone. This ensures the stability of the entire land area up to the railway. Read more about the project Land Reclamation Östrand.