Green light for tall oil from the EU – “most gratifying”
Last Wednesday, the EU parliament gave the go-ahead for tall oil to form part of the future’s sustainable fuels.
A victory for Swedish forestry and SunPine, maker of green tall diesel;
“Most gratifying. It means we can think aggressively and plan new investments,” says Magnus Edin, SunPine CEO (photo).
The EU Parliament adopted the Renewable Energy Directive by a large majority, 492, with just 88 against. A message that brings a broad smile to the face of SunPine CEO Magnus Edin, after a period of concern:
“We’ve had all the data ready for a decision on expansion at SunPine; it involves major investments. But political unrest meant that we shelved the plans as recently as last December.”
“I was seriously worried about how the debate was going last autumn. I was pretty busy myself meeting various decision-makers in Sweden and Europe to nudge the issue in the right direction, and there are other Swedish stakeholders who’ve worked hard to provide the EU with the right data.”
Why was all the lobbying necessary on this issue; didn’t the facts speak for themselves? After all, you are the green alternative.
“We spent a lot of time talking about how sustainable forestry in Sweden works. Sweden and Finland have one third of the EU’s forests, so it’s natural that we have a unique understanding of modern forestry.”
“Today, we actually have twice as much forest as we did 100 years ago despite having extracted and used four times the amount of trees that existed back then. I would say that Sweden’s forestry is a role model for the circular economy. This is not how things look in the rest of Europe.”
What does this decision mean?
“This was a truly important decision. It means the whole of Sweden’s forestry industry can work to develop new businesses and products. It naturally means we have new, positive conditions that enable us to go ahead and invest.”
“I see opportunities for continued growth at SunPine. Now we also have the certainty we need to continue developing our operation. We’ve enjoyed strong growth and are already a profitable company today.”
What does SunPine have planned for 2018?
“We will take the next step toward becoming 100 per cent fossil-free in 2018. We purchase hydro-electricity and we can now heat our premises with our own bio-oil, which is a green product. This means we’re more than 95 per cent fossil-free at the plant The work that remains for us mainly concerns transportation.”
“We also sell district heating to Piteå Energi, and they in turn supply Lindbäck’s new factory with our waste heat. We do a lot of work with downstream sustainability; we both refine industrial residual products and we also make sure that our own residual products are put to use. We also work with social sustainability; we support women in sports in the region as well as care for the elderly and a number of other things that let us shoulder our responsibility and give something back to the community we operate in.”