In Finland, the food industry group Apetit Oyj has disclosed that it is contemplating to build a biomass-fired heat plant in conjunction with the Avena Kantvik Oy rapeseed oil milling plant in Kirkkonummi. The planned bioenergy plant would replace the current energy solution that uses non-renewable fuels and would significantly reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the entire Group.
According to a statement, the 4.5 MW thermal output plant would cover the energy needs of the rapeseed processing facility. The estimated EUR 3.7 million investment includes a secondary boiler, to enable the use of natural gas.
In addition to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the bioenergy plant would also significantly lower Apetit’s current energy costs as oil milling is the Group’s most energy-intensive production process, said Juha Vanhainen, CEO of Apetit.
The bioenergy plant’s primary fuels would be forest chips and recycled wood and other fibre waste from forests and fields in the area. Apetit would also be able to use vegetable oil production side streams, such as rapeseed screenings, vegetable oil sludge and, when possible, the bentonite clay used in the rapeseed oil bleaching process, in its energy production.
The bioenergy plant would enable Apetit to utilise its production side streams. The plant’s energy self-sufficiency would increase and it would no longer be dependent on other users of its side streams. The key goal is for the bioenergy plant to be part of the plant’s circular economy and resource-smart use of raw materials, said Vanhainen.
Apetit will apply for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland’s investment aid that is granted for projects based on renewable energy and will also submit an environmental permit application. A final investment decision is pending the outcome of the applications.