The Parliament of Finland voted on 6 February in favour of a law requiring transportation fuel to be comprised of 30% biofuel by 2030, with advanced biofuels accounting for 10% of transportation fuel by the same year.

The requirements would start to be ramped up 2021, according to Ethanol Producer Magazine. Additionally, the new law would also require biofuel to be blended into light fuel oil for heating, machinery and fixed engines, starting in 2021 and increasing through 2028, when it would reach 10%.

Finnish renewables company Neste and paper mill company UPM have spoken out in support of the biofuel mandates.

“Neste shares the Finnish government’s view that we need a large amount of sustainably produced biofuels in order to reduce climate emissions fast and sufficiently enough in the next decade,” said Ilkka Räsänen, director of public affairs at Neste. “We need multiple solutions for reducing emissions: energy efficiency, better traffic planning, more public transportation as well as new technologies such as electric and gas-powered vehicles.

Sari Mannonen, vice president of UPM Biofuels, called Finland’s action “a bold step forward in setting concrete measures for transport decarbonisation.”

"We salute the decision by the Finnish parliament and welcome the fact that many other countries, such as Sweden and Norway, are also walking the talk on climate change mitigation in the transport sector," added Marko Janhunen, director of public affairs at UPM. "Transport decarbonisation requires utilisation of the whole toolbox – we need all financially and technologically feasible means from sustainable biofuels to electrification and engine efficiency improvements to be deployed.”

Neste decided in December to extend its production capacity in Singapore by up to 1.3M tonnes/year, bringing its total capacity in 2022 close to 4.5M tonnes/year. Currently its production capacity is 2.7M tonnes/year.

UPM invested in a biorefinery in Lappeenranta, Finland. Construction started in 2012 and was completed in 2014. UPM wrote on its website that it invested €179M (US$202M) into the production of its wood-based renewable diesel and naphtha called UPM BioVerno, which is a product from its crude tall oil produced at its Lappeenranta refinery.