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AMF - Implementing Agreement on Advanced Motor Fuels

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Advanced Motor Fuels in Finland

Drivers and Policies

In 2016, total energy consumption in Finland was 1,362 petajoules (PJ), and the share of renewable energy was 35%. In 2016, road transportation consumed about 17% (185 PJ) of the total final energy consumption. Transport produces 21% of Finnish greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and 94% of transport emissions are from road transport.[1]

In November 2016, the National Energy and Climate Strategy outlined the actions that will enable Finland to attain the targets specified in the Government Programme and to set the course for achieving an 80% to 95% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050.1 The intermediate (2030) targets for transport include:

  • Reducing traffic emissions by 50% compared to 2005, by 2030;
  • Increasing the physical share of biofuel energy content in fuels sold for road transport to 30%, by 2030; and
  • Increasing the number of electric vehicles (EVs) (or hydrogen-powered and rechargeable hybrids) to a minimum of 250,000 and the number of gas vehicles to 50,000, by 2030.

Other measures include improving the energy efficiency of vehicles and the transport system as a whole, and speeding up the replacement rate of Finland’s vehicle fleet. The refueling station network for new fuels and the network of recharging points for EVs will mainly be built on market-based terms.[2] The role of increased use of alternative propulsion systems in vehicles and drop-in biofuels has been emphasized.[3]


Advanced Motor Fuels Statistics

The total consumption of gasoline and diesel in Finland in 2016 was 3.8 megatonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) (Table 1). In 2015, the actual share of biofuels was approximately 12% (approximately 23% with double-counting). In 2016, actual biofuel volumes dropped to below 5% (below 8% with double-counting). Since 2008, Finland has a biofuels obligation aiming at 20% in 2020. The target for 2016 was 10% (all targets with double-counting). This obligation allows “banking,” as long as the overall cumulative volumes are met, thus allowing the biofuel suppliers to maximize profits. Ethanol is used in Finland both as such and as fuel ethers, that is, as ethyl tertiary-butyl ether (ETBE) and tertiary-amyl ethyl ether (TAEE). Biogasoline is also used as a blending component. The bioportion of diesel fuel mainly consists of paraffinic renewable diesel fuel.

Table 1   Use of Road Transportation Fuels in Finland, 2016


Ethanol, Ethers and Biogasolinec

Renewable Diesel and






a   Includes alternative/bio.

b   Mainly renewable diesel, only minor amount of FAME.

c   Bio = meets EU’s sustainability criteria (2009/28/EC; without double-counting).

Source: Finnish Petroleum and Biofuels Association, Finnish Tax Administration, http://www.kaasuyhdistys.fi/sisalto/kaasutilastot.

The total road vehicle fleet in use in Finland in 2017 was approximately 3 million (excluding non-road) vehicles (Table 2). This included around 3,800 flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) capable of using E85, around 2,900 gas vehicles using natural gas or biomethane (or bi-fuel gasoline/methane), and 5,700 plug-in hybrids and 1,450 battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The average age of cars was 12 years in 2017, and the age of cars scrapped was 21 years.

Table 2   Types and Numbers of Vehicles in Use in Finland by December 31, 2017a

Passenger Cars





Other Vehicles









a   485 cars per 1,000 inhabitants; 37% of cars were diesel cars.

Source: Finnish Transport Safety Agency, Trafi.

Renewable Diesel Fuels

Renewable diesel is currently the main renewable component in Finnish automotive fuels.

Neste produces a renewable paraffinic diesel fuel, Neste MY Renewable Diesel, with a worldwide capacity of 2.6 Mtoe/year. In 2017, around 80% of Neste’s renewable diesel production was based on waste and residue raw materials. In the beginning of 2017 Neste MY Renewable Diesel, made 100% from waste and residues, was launched in Finland at selected Neste stations. Pro Diesel (sold in Neste stations in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) contains at least 15% of renewable diesel. Neste MY Renewable Diesel is increasingly used in global markets, especially in US (California).[4] The Finnish pulp and paper company UPM produces hydrotreated renewable diesel, UPM BioVerno, from crude tall oil in Lappeenranta. Currently, 10 vol% of UPM BioVerno is blended into diesel fuel and sold at St1 Biofuels Oy (Diesel Plus) and ABC (Smart Diesel) refueling stations in Finland.

A minor amount of conventional esterified biodiesel, that is, fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), was used in Finland in 2016.

Bioalcohols and Ethers

In 2016, fuel ethanol and fuel ethers (fossil and bio-origin) were blended in gasoline in Finland. A total of 5.3 ktoe of ethanol is sold as E85. Since 2011, RED95 ethanol-diesel has been tested in a limited number of vehicles. The energy company St1 Renewable Energy Oy has four decentralized Etanolix® plants using waste from the food industry and one in Gothenburg, Sweden, and one Bionolix® plant using biowaste from shops and households as their feedstock (0.5–3.5 ktoe/year/unit ethanol). The Bionolix® unit in Hämeenlinna is combined with a biogas production plant. In 2017, St1 Renewable Energy Oy started its Cellunolix® bioethanol production in Kajaani, using sawdust and chips as feedstock.


Small amounts of biogasoline components are produced at Neste’s and UPM’s renewable diesel processing units and blended in gasoline. Neste produces traffic fuels also using tall oil pitch as a feedstock at the Naantali refinery.[5] Biogasoline contains only biohydrocarbons (oxygen-free).

Natural Gas and Biomethane

In 2017, Finland had 33 methane filling stations, 4 of which offer liquefied natural gas (LNG). The share of renewable methane (biogas) in methane for transport was 53% in 2016.[6] Skangas has Finland’s first LNG terminal for industry and ships in Pori (30,000 cubic meters [m3], 15,000 metric tons [t]).[7]

Renewable Jet Fuel

Neste’s renewable aviation fuel is refined in Porvoo, and it meets the strict quality requirements for aviation fuels. The fuel is transported to Oslo as a 50% blend with fossil aviation fuel.

Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The public transportation authority in metropolitan Helsinki, Helsinki Region Transport (HSL), has ordered 12 electric buses from the Finnish start-up company Linkker. Operations with Linkker buses started in Espoo in 2015 and in Helsinki in 2017.[8] The goal is to have 400 electric buses operating in the Helsinki region by 2025 (roughly one-third of the fleet).


The first commercial hydrogen fueling station in Finland opened in 2014 in Helsinki, and at Voikoski, one station opened for Finland’s first and, so far, only hydrogen car.


Research and Demonstration Focus

Special funds have been made available to stimulate research and demonstration of next-generation biofuels in Finland. The TransSmart program focused on four core areas: low-carbon energy, advanced vehicles, smart transportation services, and transportation systems.[9] The following TransDigi program started in 2017, creating a collaboration and innovation platform for sustainable, seamless, and safe mobility. The BioOneHundred pilot project, led by HSL and covering 2016–2019, focuses on high-concentration biofuels for carbon neutral urban traffic. In Helsinki, bus services procured by HSL and the vehicles of Helsinki City Construction Services, Stara, aim at using sustainable biofuels in minimum 50% in 2018 and 70%–90% in 2019.

LignoCat, 2013–2017, is focusing on developing a catalytic pyrolysis technology for upgrading bio-oil. BTL2030, 2016–2017, aims to produce transport fuels from biomass by gasification-based concepts. The High Value Bio-oils for Transportation and Diesel Power Plants project, 2014–2017, supports Finnish industries in developing and introducing second-generation biofuels. Neo-Carbon Energy, 2014–2019, creates a new energy system, including the world’s first pilot plant capable of producing hydrocarbons from the air by using solar power as the energy source.



Bioethanol and renewable diesels will be increasingly used as biofuels in Finland. In the long term, cellulosic biomass-to-liquid (BTL) is expected to cover a significant share of the diesel pool in Finland.

St1 is planning a 50-million-liter (~25 ktoe) Cellunolix® bioethanol plant in Pietarsaari, Kajaani or Follum, Norway. It is estimated that the investment decision will be made in 2018, and the Cellunolix® plant could start up in 2020. NEB is also looking into expanding the Kajaani Cellunolix® plant by 25 ktoe/year. Suomen Bioetanoli Oy received €30 million ($34 million US) energy support from The Ministry of Employment and the Economy in 2014 to build a new straw bioethanol plant at Myllykoski, Kouvola (~45 ktoe/year).

The LNG infrastructure being built offers opportunities to consider LNG for heavy-duty transportation. New LNG terminals planned are the Tornio Manga LNG project (50,000 m3 of storage capacity by 2018)[10] and Hamina LNG terminal. Finland and Estonia will construct a gas pipeline, Balticconnector, which will enable the opening of Finnish gas markets starting in 2020 (currently, demand in Finland is met only by Russian natural gas).


Major Changes

In 2016, the National Energy and Climate Strategy outlined the actions that will enable Finland to reduce GHG emissions. The targets aim at, amongst others, cutting traffic emissions by some 50% by 2030 compared to 2005, and increasing the physical share of biofuel energy content for road transport to 30%. The goal is to have a minimum of 250,000 EVs (also hydrogen and rechargeable hybrids) and 50,000 gas-powered vehicles by 2030.


[1]    http://www.stat.fi/ and http://lipasto.vtt.fi.

[2]    Huttunen, R. (ed.), 2017, “Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.”

[3]    Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland (MINTC), 2015, Alternative Fuels Infrastructure - A Proposal for a National Framework until 2020/2030.

[4]    Neste, https://www.neste.com/fi/en/neste-my-renewable-diesel.

[5]   https://www.neste.com/en/neste-oil-uses-tall-oil-pitch-produce-traffic-fuel.

[6]    http://www.kaasuyhdistys.fi/sisalto/kaasutilastot.

[7]   www.skangas.com/en/our-portfolio/terminals/pori-terminal/.

[8]    HLS, 2017, “Helsinki’s First Fully Electric Bus to Hit the Road in January,” www.hsl.fi/en/news/2017/helsinkis-first-fully-electric-bus-hit-road-january-9590.

[9]    Transsmart, “TransSmart: Towards Smart Sustainable Mobility,” http://www.transsmart.fi/transsmart/in_english.

[10]   Manga LNG Oy, http://www.torniomangalng.fi/en/hankkeen-esittely/.