The single largest biogas plant and biogas producer in Estonia, AS Estonian Cell, the mechanical aspen pulp mill of Austria-headed Heinzel Holding GmbH, produced 7.7 million Nm3 of biogas in 2016. This is up from 5 million Nm3 in 2015 and has contributed to replacing almost 50 GWh of fossil gas used by the pulp mill reducing its carbon footprint and energy costs.
This was a remarkable achievement as the internal project targets were exceeded by more than 50 percent, explained Lauri Raid, Member of the Management Board of Estonian Cell.
Raid believes that the investment has a substantial positive environmental impact as it reduces the ecological footprint of the production even further and also decreases the company’s production costs. Own production of biogas has reduced production costs by reducing the volume of fossil gas procurement.
Award-winning biogas plant
In 2016 Estonian Cell received also an honourable recognition from the competition The Best Estonian Enterprises organised by Enterprise Estonia (EAS). Estonian Cell was named the Innovator of the Year 2016. With its long history, the Best Estonian Enterprises competition initiated by Enterprise Estonia is the most prominent state recognition to companies in Estonia.
The objective of the Business Awards competition is to promote entrepreneurship and recognize the most ambitious companies in Estonia. The company received the award mainly due to its EUR 11 million investment in an innovative biogas production plant that is unique in all of Europe.
Siiri Lahe, a Member of the Management Board of Estonian Cell, said that the recognition is undoubtedly extremely important and meaningful to all employees of Estonian Cell who have made a significant effort to realize this extremely innovative investment.
This recognition has brought great excitement into our team, and helps us to keep moving forward towards new innovative solutions, said Lahe.
The new biogas plant features a state-of-the-art technology, providing an innovative solution in the context of pulp production. The plant has the largest single biogas reactor in Europe. In 2015 Estonian Cell became the biggest producer of biogas in the country. The pulp mill used to consume more than 15 million Nm3 fossil gas but now the mill has replaced a whole third of it by 5 million Nm3 biogas produced on site.
About Estonian Cell AS
Estonian Cell started its aspen pulp production in 2006. With original investment EUR 153 million, the facility is one of the largest foreign greenfield investments made in Estonia over the course of the last decade. All of its production is exported to different countries in Europe and Asia. Estonian Cell’s 2015 sales amounted to EUR 78 million. The company employs 86 people directly and generates work for around 500 employees within its value chain. Estonian Cell’s annual productivity index is an astounding 900 000 euros per employee – the highest in the industrial sector of the entire country.