UPM Leuna biorefinery

Project Aim

Build and operate the world’s first biorefinery producing sustainable chemicals from wood to advance the sustainability transformation of chemical value chains.


At its Leuna Biorefinery, UPM will produce biobased monoethylene glycol (bMEG), monopropylene glycol (bMPG) as well as Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF) from sustainably sourced and certified hardwood as well as residue streams of the wood processing industry. The renewable chemicals made in Leuna will replace CO2-intense fossil-based chemicals in a number of end uses in the rubber and plastics industry as well as in industrial fluids. The biorefinery is a breakthrough for the transformation of chemical industry value chains to become truly sustainable and break free from fossil raw materials. By being fully recyclable in all existing processes, our bMEG and bMPG enable the next step in circular economy as material losses in recycling and growth of demand can be met with renewable alternatives, maximizing the positive environmental impact of circular solutions. The Renewable Functional Fillers are a completely new category of sustainable performance chemicals enabling the rubber and plastic industry to develop new solutions to replace CO2 intense carbon black and silica. The sustainability performance of UPM’s products is amplified by a clear commitment to certified regional value chains – especially in wood sourcing - and environmentally optimized production processes. The refinery will ramp up production in 2023 with an annual capacity of 220.000 tonnes.

Investment: 550.00 Million
Year of investment / Project duration: 2020-2023
Country(ies) of investment: Finland, Germany
Region of investment: Saxony Anhalt (Germany)
Employment created: 100
Bio-based feedstock(s) utilised: Certified beechwood from forest thinnings and sawmill sidestreams