Eastman – an innovative energy project in Estonia

Partnership stories Chemical & Pharmaceutical

Global specialty materials company Eastman has started a collaboration with Adven to convert benzoic acid production by-product into energy. This innovative solution makes energy production more environmentally friendly as well as cost-effective.

Eastman’s Estonia site produces benzoic acid, sodium benzoate and plasticizers in its factory in Kohtla-Järve. The plant exports most of its products outside of Estonia, including Europe, North America and Asia. In recent years, Eastman Estonia has significantly increased its production.

Benzoic acid is a by-product generated as a stream from the plant’s main production process. The closure of a cement factory in Estonia reduced alternatives for proper disposal or use of the benzoic acid by-product, so Eastman quickly began exploring alternative solutions.

From by-product into steam energy

Adven designed an innovative concept for Eastman where the benzoic acid distillation by-product will be converted into steam energy to be reused in the distillation process.

The energy conversion is achieved by using the liquid by-product as a direct input for the steam production unit.

“We were facing a big challenge in how to ensure that the use of a very specific fuel combustion process is carried out in a controlled way. Since it is technically an extremely demanding area, we were looking for an experienced energy partner. We’re pleased that Adven came up with a good and reliable solution,“ said Hannes Reinula, Member of the Management Board of Eastman Specialties OÜ.

I would like to highlight the flexible contractual process. Outsourcing isn’t common for Eastman worldwide, but now we’re considering extending potential collaboration with Adven at other sites.

Steven Segers
Eastman EMEA Category Manager, Belgium

Sustainability as a common value

Adven´s Industry Lead Teemu Helistekangas emphasized that the vision both companies share helped create a more sustainable solution.

“Safety, well-being of people and sustainable innovation are foundational for Eastman. Adven, in turn, has made sustainability an integral part of its strategy. We are truly honored and happy to be partners in this journey with such a great company that shares our focus on sustainability,“ said Helistekangas.

As part of the agreement, Adven invests in an energy processing plant and related infrastructure – a common goal for both companies was to make the solution as cost-effective and environmentally friendly as possible.

“The whole process of designing the new energy concept has been very open, transparent and rational from the very beginning, covering basically everything from technical and finance to various other elements. Sustainability was considered at every possible step,“ Helistekangas continued.

“We plan to launch this new energy solution in 2022. As a part of our energy service model, we will also be responsible for the operations, maintenance and 24/7 remote monitoring of the plant.”


Additional information:

Adven, Teemu Helistekangas, Industry Lead, teemu.helistekangas@adven.com, tel. +358 40 532 2414

Eastman Specialties, Hannes Reinula, Member of the Management Board, hreinula@eastman.com, tel. +372 332 5929


Founded in 1920, Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company’s innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development to grow its leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse company, Eastman employs approximately 14,500 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries. The company had 2020 revenues of approximately $8.5 billion and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA.