UPM Biochemicals acquires SunCoal Industries

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UPM Biochemicals has made a significant acquisition by purchasing SunCoal Industries GmbH, a German-based company known for its unique technology portfolio that produces performance products from renewable raw materials.

The technology developed by SunCoal Industries will be integrated into the production of UPM’s BioMotionTM Renewable Functional Fillers (RFF), which will be one of the products manufactured at UPM Biochemical’s pioneering biorefinery in Leuna. This acquisition will bolster UPM’s overall technology portfolio in the biorefining sector.

The acquisition also includes the ownership of SunCoal Industries’ team, which specializes in lignin valorization. This expertise will allow UPM to enhance its position as a leading supplier of sustainable, renewable functional fillers to the rubber and plastic markets by further developing the technology in-house.

The experts from SunCoal Industries will work with UPM to further improve the RFF production technology and processes, supporting the company’s ambitious growth plans in the biorefining industry.

SunCoal Industries holds a globally patented hydrothermal treatment technology, which has been licensed to UPM for the production of wood-based functional fillers. The biorefinery in Leuna will implement this technology on an industrial scale for the first time.

Winfried Schaur, Executive Vice President Technology & Biorefining at UPM, expressed that this acquisition will strengthen the company’s position in the renewable chemicals markets and represents a significant step in the growth of UPM’s biorefining businesses. The addition of SunCoal’s patented technology will broaden UPM’s patent base and contribute to the development of innovative and sustainable chemicals.

UPM has invested EUR 1,180 million to build the world’s first industrial-scale biorefinery in Leuna, Germany. This biorefinery will convert sustainably sourced, certified hardwood into next-generation biochemicals, which will drive the transition from fossil-based materials to renewable alternatives across various industries. The Leuna biorefinery is part of UPM Biorefining, a growth area focused on scaling refineries that produce a variety of renewable fuels and chemicals from sustainable biomass. With the success of their advanced biofuels refinery in Lappeenranta, the emerging biochemicals refinery in Leuna, and the planned fuels and chemicals refinery in Rotterdam, UPM is at the forefront of providing sustainable alternatives to oil-based fuels and chemicals.

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