Transporting clean power from Finnish forests

12/19/2018 13:01:11

Kiitosimeon is one of UPM Biofuels’ logistics partners. Jussi Kaurala is their transport foreman – read about his day at work.

“What is the level of tall oil in your tanks? What plans do you have for the next 24 hours?”

Some of the pulp mill tall oil tanks are not followed by us through remote systems, so calling and talking with our contacts is still very much part of my everyday work. I need to know how much tall oil is in each pulp mill and what that situation will be in the next 24 hours and in the following days.  Tall oil is a residue of the pulp making process and we transport it to the UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery, where it is used as a raw material for UPM BioVerno diesel and naphtha.  We also transport other products and chemicals to and from the biorefinery, but tall oil is our main volume.

When I started working at Kiitosimeon in 2015, we did some work with UPM Biofuels and the biorefinery that was starting production in Lappeenranta. Our tank trucks drove only a few loads per week. The number of loads has clearly increased, and our fleet of tank trucks has also increased - and their size has grown. Nowadays we use mainly 76 tonne tank trucks for tall oil deliveries. Three of those have UPM BioVerno brand livery on them. You may spot these vehicles in the south east or other parts of Finland.

In the course of a few years our drivers have become experts on tall oil, even if they did not necessarily have previous experience with this substance. Many of them can spot several issues on tall oil quality based simply on looking at the tanks they are loading on their trucks. Naturally, this helps me a lot when planning deliveries and, at the same time, we are able to ensure that the biorefinery will receive good quality raw material.

UPM BioVerno diesel decreases the greenhouse gas emissions of transportation significantly and it is important that our tank trucks, too, generate fewer emissions and are more economical in fuel usage. Nowadays 95% of tall oil deliveries to UPM at Lappeenranta are driven by Kiitosimeon’s EURO VI-class trucks - the rest of them will be changed to new ones in the near future. In addition to the way of driving, issues like idling are also followed through the data systems in the trucks, and we aim to decrease those as well by e.g. programming and by using Volvo’s new I-See cruise control system.

The world is worried about climate change and other environmental issues – and fast actions are needed. It is important that we, too, do something about them. Change, even if small, is a change and it is great to be part of this change towards lower emission transportation, even if I do it just through my computer and phone.