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Gasum plans to purchase up to 800 GWh e-methane

Gasum plans to purchase up to 800 GWh e-methane
An artist's rendering of the Nordic Ren-Gas Lahti plant (image courtesy Nordic Ren-Gas).

Nordic energy company Gasum Oy and Nordic Power-to-Gas (PtG) developer Nordic Ren-Gas Oy have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) whereby the parties will negotiate an offtake agreement for the entire anticipated production of Nordic Ren-Gas’s e-methane plant projects in the Finnish cities of Lahti and Kotka. 

Nordic Ren-Gas has developed a unique operational and technical design for its Power-to-Gas plants to meet all the requirements of the EU Renewable Energy Directive on renewable liquid and gaseous fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO) for its e-methane.

Both of the planned plants will be connected to the existing gas grid infrastructure.

The e-methane will be synthesized using renewable electricity and biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) and will be injected into the gas grid with the potential to be exported to Europe or liquefied for use as e-LNG in, for example, maritime transport.

Continuation of existing cooperation

In January 2024, Gasum and Nordic Ren-Gas reported signing the first offtake agreement on an e-methane plant in Tampere that will initially produce 160 GWh of e-methane per year starting in 2026.

This LoI is a continuation of their cooperation to develop the e-methane market by negotiating a gas offtake agreement on the next two PtG plants Nordic Ren-Gas is developing.

The Lahti and Kotka plants will be constructed based on the model developed in the Tampere project.

Final volumes decided based on demand

The initial plan is that the Lahti and Kotka plants combined will produce 800 GWh of renewable e-methane per year.

Gasum and Nordic Ren-gas will determine the realized offtake volumes together based on projected demand from end users. The Lahti and Kotka plants are both planned to be up and running by 2027.

Excitingly, our collaboration with Gasum has now reached almost one terawatt hour (TWh) of annual e-methane volumes. Building on the success of our joint efforts in the Tampere project, we are thrilled to share progress in the Lahti and Kotka projects. Ren-Gas’s efficient project development model, combined with Gasum’s valuable expertise in the renewable gas market, accelerates the entire development of the renewable e-methane market and facilitates cost-efficient emission reductions in Europe, said Saara Kujala, CEO of Nordic Ren-Gas.

The plants will produce renewable e-methane using Finnish onshore wind power and biogenic CO2.

Both projects are being developed in close collaboration with the local energy utilities when it comes to the capture of carbon dioxide and district heating integration to utilize surplus heat from the PtG process.

Gasum is pleased to continue developing our cooperation with Nordic Ren-Gas, as the potential of e-methane for emission reductions in industry and transport is so substantial. Gasum has the infrastructure in place for the effective distribution of e-methane to our customers in land and maritime transport as well as industry and we believe Finland is a competitive location for producing e-methane for the European market. The volumes produced at the Lahti and Kotka plants can be a significant addition to Gasum’s renewable energy offering, said Mika Wiljanen, CEO of Gasum.

Fully interchangeable with natural gas and RNG

In the PtGower-to-Gas process, hydrogen is first produced using renewable electricity and water. The hydrogen is then further processed into e-methane by combining the hydrogen with biogenic CO2.

E-methane produced in this way is fully renewable and will replace fossil fuel usage in the transportation, maritime, and industrial sectors. It is fully interchangeable with natural gas and biomethane (aka renewable natural gas – RNG).

Likewise, when it is liquefied it is fully interchangeable with liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquified biomethane (bioLNG).

This means that it can be transported through already existing infrastructure – trucks, ships, pipelines – and directly used in assets currently running on natural gas or biomethane. There is no need for any additional investments in new equipment or modifications for companies that already own gas-run vehicles or vessels.

Therefore, according to Gasum, e-methane is an already existing plausible pathway to decarbonizing maritime as well as heavy road transportation in just a few years.

Gasum’s strategic goal is to bring yearly seven terawatt hours (7 TWh) of renewable gas, including biogas and e-methane, to market by 2027.

Achieving this goal would mean a combined carbon dioxide reduction of 1.8 million tonnes per annum for Gasum’s customers.

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