It comes as the company gears up to begin production at its new bio-refinery and follows the signing of a distribution deal that will see the fuel go in to outlets owned by large Finnish service station groups.

UPM was recognised for its innovative approach in using the residue crude oil from pulp production to produce BioVerno, a fuel that can be used without changes to a vehicle.

The company’s bio-refinery in Lappeenranta in Finland could produce 100,000 tonnes of BioVerno a year once operations begin this summer.

As part of its development, UPM has signed a distribution agreement with North European Oil Trade that specialises in wholesale oil and biofuels. UPM has also signed an agreement of co-operation between UPM Biofore and the WWF in Finland to promote the new fuel.

The Finnish government and the Technical Research Centre of Finland have declared that biofuels in road transport would provide the most effective way of achieving greenhouse gas emission goals.

However, Metsa has revealed it is to pull out of plans to establish a joint bio-diesel plant with Finnish energy company Vapo. The companies had been working on the project for five years and were considering a plant capable of producing 200,000 tonnes a year.
A feasibility study backed a wood-fired plant in Kemi, but Metsa said it did foresee "good profitability". Metsa said it would continue to develop its integrated mill in Kemi, which may include increasing bio-energy production.