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miércoles, 18 de enero de 2017

Investors plan to build a 1 billion euros biorefinery in Estonia



Last week, a group of Estonian investors (see the list at the end of the post) with a long-term forestry and wood industry experience announced its intention of building a modern and environmentally sound biorefinery in Estonia (see press release). With an estimated quantity of 1 billion euro, it would be the largest ever industry investment in Estonia.

Main data and facts about this project are summarized in the following table:
Feedstocks and products
Feedstock and processing capacity
Wood from Estonia (also from Latvia or Lithuania if necessary): spruce, pine and birch. Wood chips produced in sawmills.
3 Mm3 of pulpwood and wood chips.
Products and production capacity
Market pulp and other bioproducts made from cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, including green energy.
700,000 tons of pulp.
The plant would constantly and stably produce 25% more renewable energy than its own use for the production process.
Schedule
Environmental impact study, applications for environmental permits, public discussions
Starting in early 2017
Investment decision and financing plan
2019
Biorefinery construction, personnel recruitment, training
2020 - 2021
Start-up
2022
Location
Various locations in different parts of Estonia are being analysed. Prerequisites: 100 hectares of land, close to raw materials, operating network of roads and rail, access to a sustainable river water resource and local qualified labour force.
Positive impact on the whole region’s forestry sector as well as on the Estonian economy
Value added created by the bioproducts mill
210 - 270 M€ (1-1,4 % GDP of Estonia in 2015)
Increase of the Estonian export
250 - 350 M€ annually
Employment
200 qualified new direct jobs and in addition 500 – 700 new jobs in the value chain servicing the mill

Figure 1. Model of the bioproducts mill (extracted from www.biorefinery.ee)

Margus Kohava and Aadu Polli (recognized forestry industry experts) lead the biorefinery project. Its feasibility is being analysed in a close cooperation with various Estonian state authorities as well as with well-known scientific experts. Margus Kohava accentuated that the investors would like to have a close cooperation with the public. “It is vital for us to constructively collaborate with all interest groups, scientific communities and potential co-investors to ensure that the mill’s construction, technology and operation would be in accordance with the environmental requirements, be social-economically sustainable and in concord with the interest of the Estonian society” he added.

The investors that initiated the research and analysis stage of the project represent 100% Estonian capital. In case of a positive investment decision, they plan to engage a financial investor and/or strategic investor. It is expected that an international banks syndicate would participate in financing the project. Another possibility is to receive money from the local capital market. Considering the volume of construction works, it is expected to have a foreign and local construction companies to form a consortium for carrying out the civil construction works.

Investors:
- Aimar Varula
- Arvo Türner
- Heiki Vahermets
- Peedo Pihlak
- Toomas Mets and Virko Lepmets (OÜ Combiwood)
- Peeter Mänd (Ivard OÜ)
- Kaido Jõeleht (Kaamos Group)
- Jüri Külvik (Lemeks Grupp)
- Mati Polli (Tristafan OÜ)
- Tiit Nilson (Woodwell)

Advisors:
- Daniel Paalsson (international biorefinery expert)
- Urmas Varblane (consultant of macroeconomic topics)
- Raidla Ellex (law office)
- Estonian Center for Applied Research CentAR
- Communication Consultancy JLP

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