Building a state-of-the-art biorefinery in Leuna

We take the production of wood-based renewable biochemicals from idea to reality.

 
UPM's biorefinery is a key investment for the state of Saxony-Anhalt. Leuna offers a well-developed infrastructure and a business environment which is supportive to such investments.
Dr. Reiner Haseloff, Prime Minister, Saxony-Anhalt, at the groundbreaking
 

What we do in Leuna

UPM is leading the way and investing in the biochemicals industry of tomorrow. Bioeconomy inspires us, and we want to create a future beyond fossils.

We are building the world's first biorefinery in Leuna, Germany. Our biochemicals are made from responsibly sourced hardwood and have a radically improved CO2 footprint compared to fossil-based alternatives.

Our renewable Bio-Monoethylene Glycol (BioMEG) will serve as a base material for various industrial products and consumer goods, such as PET bottles, packaging materials, polyester textiles and engine & battery coolants. Our renewable Bio-Monopropylene Glycol (BioMPG) will be ready to be converted into cleaning agents, deicing fluids, fragrances, and cosmetics.

As they can be fully integrated into existing production and recycling processes, they enable the transformation of the entire chemicals value chain towards renewable circularity.

Our Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF) are a completely new, renewable product and sustainable alternative to replace carbon black and precipitated silica in various rubber end uses such as automotive, weather strips, hoses, sealings and other rubber and plastics applications.

 
 
 
 

Our biorefinery under construction – watch the progress here

 

Once operational, our new biorefinery in Leuna, Germany, will ramp up to turn wood into next-generation biochemicals producing sustainable glycols and lignin-based renewable functional fillers. After the groundbreaking in 2020, the construction of the UPM biorefinery is in full swing. The technical start-up is expected for the end of 2022, with production ramped up in 2023.

Recently, distillation column parts were moved to our site in an elegantly planned undertaking involving trains, trucks and heavy-duty carriages.

 

Watch the groundbreaking video

 
 
 

Facts and figures

15 hectare

Our construction site is roughly 20 times the size of a football field.

2020 to 2023

The biorefinery is expected to be operational by the end of 2022 and ramp up in 2023.

> 100 Jobs

We are building a new organization and are recruiting for various roles in Leuna.

4 Products

Bio-Monoethylene Glycol (BioMEG), Bio-Monopropylene Glycol (BioMPG), Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF), Industrial Sugar

 

News

Product Launch

 

UPM launches UPM BioMotion™ Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF) – a renewable product to significantly reduce CO₂ footprint of rubber and plastics applications.

UPM BioMotion™ Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF) represent UPM's latest revolutionary development in sustainable solutions. They address the urgent need to reduce CO₂ emissions of rubber and plastics products by offering a truly sustainable alternative to fossil-based carbon black and precipitated silica, the dominating functional fillers used in rubber and plastic products today.

Read the press release

Building a digital twin in Leuna

 

How to ensure efficient operations of a plant that has never been built before? Together with our collaboration partner Siemens Energy, we implement a digital twin at our Biorefinery in Leuna. The digital twin will enable process simulation, training, and optimization even before the plant is up and running. It, therefore, plays a critical role in preparing for a safe and efficient start-up and operations of the refinery. 

 

 

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