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Gasum and Oulun Energia plan to build a new biogas and bioLNG plant in Oulu

In Finland, municipal energy utility energy Oulun Energia Oy and compatriot gas major Gasum Oy have announced plans to build a biogas plant in conjunction with Oulun Energia’s Laanila eco power plant. The biogas plant would use the biodegradable material in municipal waste as the feedstock to produce biogas which will be upgraded to biomethane (aka renewable natural gas - RNG) and liquefied to bioLNG) for use as a heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) fuel.

Aerial view with artist’s rendering of Laanila biopower currently under construction. Oulun Energia and Gasum plan to build a biogas plant in conjunction with the Laanila eco power plant. The biogas plant would use the biodegradable material in municipal waste as the feedstock to produce biogas which will be upgraded to biomethane (aka renewable natural gas – RNG) and liquefied to bioLNG for use as a heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) fuel (image courtesy Oulun Energia / UKI Arkkitehdit).

Gasum’s plans to build not only a biogas plant but also a gas liquefaction unit to process the biomethane into liquefied biomethane (bioLNG) for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs). The Laanila plant would be the second liquefied biogas (LBG) production plant in Finland.

In the joint Laanila biogas plant project, Oulun Energia plans to invest in a waste processing unit to separate around 45 000 tonnes of biodegradable material from around 130 000 tonnes of annual household general waste.

Gasum would be responsible for processing biodegradable waste into biogas and refining it into a road fuel. When completed, Gasum’s new Laanila biogas plant will produce around 40 GWh of biogas a year.

It’s pleasing to be able to work together further on with Gasum on plans for a plant project and to be able to promote the circular economy in the Oulu region, said Pertti Vanhala, Business Director at Oulun Energia.

Expand Rusko biogas plant

Besides the new biogas plant, Gasum is also planning to enlarge the Rusko biogas plant in Oulu. The Rusko biogas plant uses separately collected biowaste and local sewage sludge as feedstock from which recycled nutrients are also produced.

Following enlargement, annual biogas production at the Rusko plant would increase by 20 GWh. This additional production would be sent to Laanila for liquefaction and would bring the total annual amount of liquefied biogas production in Oulu to 60 GWh.

Our new biogas plant project will produce enough liquefied biogas to replace diesel as a fuel in about 120 trucks. It is difficult to electrify heavy-duty vehicles. Biogas can cut traffic emissions by up to 90 percent compared to diesel. There is growing interest in the emissions reductions enabled by the use of biogas as a road fuel. No investment decision has yet been taken, said Ari Suomilammi, Director, Circular Economy Finland, Gasum.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment granted Gasum with EUR 7.944 million investment aid, which is intended for large-scale demonstration projects that provide new energy solutions aimed at reaching 2030 national and EU targets.

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