Finland’s government has welcomed the proposition by a Chinese energy firm, Kaidi to build a huge biodiesel refinery in the country’s Northern town of Kemi. The Minister of Justice and Employment, Jari Lindström said the investment of €1bn is apt, proclaiming it as “just the kind of news that our country badly needs at the moment”.

 Kaidi Finland CEO Pekka Koponen spoke at Helsinki's Finlandia Hall on Feb. 10. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

Kaidi Finland CEO Pekka Koponen spoke at Helsinki’s Finlandia Hall on Feb. 10. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

Sunshine Kaidi, New Energy Group owns Kaidi Finland, which was set up earlier in 2016. The firm already has biomass refineries in China and Vietnam,” reports say.

The China based firm announced at a packed event at Finlandia Hall, where the head of its newly-established Finnish subsidiary spoke alongside top officials from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, that it was going to invest a billion euros in the country’s oil sector. Construction of the refinery is expected to commence in 2017. The project is expected to generate an estimated 4,000 jobs during the building process, with about 150 staff strength when it is up and running.

Kaidi Finland’s CEO explained that the investment indicated a new phase in Finnish industrial history, driven by the need to replace fossil fuels with biofuels.

It’s raw material would be the so-called “energy wood,” that includes scrap wood and by-products of logging such as roots and stumps, making it the first of its kind in the world, it was reported. Kaidi estimates that it would produce some 200,000 tons of biofuel annually, with three quarters comprising of biodiesel and the rest biogasoline.

The final investment decision and selection of partners would be made this year, says Koponen. The refinery would begin commercial operations by the end of 2019. Established in 1992, Kaidi has a market value of more than seven billion euros and a payroll of more than 8,000 people.

Ogie Omelegie
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