Fossil free: Yes we can!
In 2016 Södra announced the ambitious target of eliminating fossil fuels from its entire transportation chain by 2030. Henrik Brodin is the man charged with seeing the project through. He gives five reasons why he has confidence in the project’s success.
1. So far so good
“We have achieved a lot so far,” he says, “and things are going in the right direction. I am very optimistic when I see major players in global markets such as IKEA and Maersk announcing similar initiatives, because where the leaders go, others follow. Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, has said it plans to become fossil-fuel free and climate neutral by 2050.”
2. Shipping is ship-shape
Södra’s own shipping plans are progressing. “We are currently in the pre-study and feasibility study phase, discussing with various partners ways that we could run a vessel using our own bio-methanol or other alternatives such as bio gas” adds Brodin. “Cost remains an issue, but we know this is the right thing to do and our long-term plan is to ensure the vessels we use run on fossil-free fuel.”
3. On track on site
“The truck-driver shortage in Europe means that we cannot be too choosy now, and there is a shortage of bio-fuels too as demand is increasing. But all refueling stations on Södra sites, sawmills and pulp mills, only offer bio diesel.”
4. A forklift first
In addition, after several years of development, the first fully electric timber forklift is now in operation, at Värö sawmill with another unit ordered for loading at the pulp mill. It is only the second one in operation in the medium manufacturing segment in Sweden and the first in the forest industry.
5. Demonstrated commitment
Brodin knows the target is ambitious but he is optimistic: “The problem with a 10-year plan is that a lot can change in a decade and we cannot always predict what political or economic challenges may lie ahead. But we have already committed to this plan and made two investments decisions. As well as the methanol plant at Mönsterås, we will build a demonstration plant for advanced biofuels at Tofte in Norway, together with the energy company Statkraft. No one has done this before so we are in uncharted territory but securing our own source of biofuels for the future will be important and we want to be at the forefront of this environmentally-beneficial change.”
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