LAPPEENRANTA, FINLAND -- UPM Biofuels, manufacturer of wood-based biofuels, opened the world's first wood-to-biodiesel factory in Finland, producing 120 million litres (approximately 32 million gallons) of UPM BioVerno renewable biodiesel -- annually.

"Sustainable wood-based raw materials are turned into a unique fuel that truly decreases emissions and is suitable for all diesel cars, buses and trucks,” said Petri Kukkonen, head of UPM Biofuels.

The fuel is developed from crude tall oil, a byproduct of softwood pulp. UPM says a large portion of that raw material comes from its pulp mills in Finland.

"The biorefinery is the first of its kind in the world. We are now happy to move forward from start-up phase and be able to concentrate on regular production process," Kukkonen adds.

Construction of the $175 million Euro ($206 million USD) biorefinery began in 2012. It is expected to employ approximately 50 people.

UPM Biofuels is a division of UPM, which produces products made of renewable and recyclable raw material. The company employs nearly 21,000 people and has a total of six business units, including UPM Biofuels. Those units are: UPM Biorefining (Biofuels), UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Paper Asia, UPM Paper Europe and North America and UPM Plywood.

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