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Stockholm Exergi submits environmental permit application for Lövsta CHP plant

In Sweden, the capital's energy utility Stockholm Exergi AB has submitted an environmental permit application to the Land and Environmental Court in order to be able to build and operate its planned new biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Lövsta, Stockholm.

Stockholm Exergi AB has submitted an environmental permit application to the Land and Environmental Court in order to be able to build and operate its new planned biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Lövsta, in the western suburbs of the Swedish capital city Stockholm (image courtesy Stockholm Exergi).

In April 2018, the Stockholm City Exploitation Board has made a decision on land registration which meant that the city’s energy utility Stockholm Exergi AB (previously known as Fortum Värme) can proceed with the planning of a new combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Lövsta in the western suburbs of the Swedish capital city.

Stockholm Exergi has now submitted an environmental permit application to the Land and Environmental Court in order to be able to build and operate the planned Lövsta CHP plant. The new plant will replace the Hässelbyverket which has reached its technical life and the company’s last coal-fired cogeneration plant located in Hjorthagen.

Meet population growth and emissions reduction

Stockholm is growing and the electrification of society is increasing. The energy is used more and more efficiently, but as the city grows, the need for district heating and electricity does not decrease. At the same time, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) need to decrease sharply.

The Hässelbyverket will soon need to be replaced for age reasons, in addition, Stockholm Exergi is closing the coal-fired CHP plant in Hjorthagen. Therefore, new and efficient production capacity needs to be added. The new CHP plant in Lövsta, which is expected to be commissioned around 2024, will be powered by recycled and renewable fuels.

We are constantly developing and modernizing our production of district heating and electricity to reduce climate impact. The CHP plant in Lövsta is important for the whole of Stockholm as regional production of district heating and electricity that is not dependent on fossil fuels is secured. The project also enables new attractive housing where the Hässelbyverket stands today, said Anders Egelrud, CEO of Stockholm Exergi.

Negative emissions with carbon capture

Stockholm Exergi’s planning for Lövstaverket also includes the possibility of separating and capturing CO2 and thereby creating negative emissions – bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Stockholm Exergi has been running a test plant at its Värtaverket CHP since December 2019 that already captures CO2 and the company hopes to use the technology on a large scale already in a few years.

The CO2 will be stored below the seabed and since the CO2 is formed from biological material such as wood originally comes from the atmosphere, negative emissions occur.

We have a test facility for capturing carbon dioxide in Värtan which shows good results. The new CHP plant in Lövsta is being prepared to use the technology on a large scale to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Technology is important to counteract climate change and Stockholm can be the first capital in the world to capture carbon dioxide on a large scale, Anders Egelrud said.

Site remediation required

The designated location for the new cogeneration plant is the former lövsta landfill, which has been used as a landfill since the end of the 1800s. The last part of the landfill was covered in 2011. Due to the historical use of the area as a landfill, extensive remediation of bottom sediment and soil containing high levels of contamination is required.

Decisions on the new CHP plant are made in two parallel processes. The environmental permit is decided by the Land and Environmental Court, while the detailed plan that determines how the land is to be used is handled by Stockholm’s City Office and decided by the City Building Board. The detailed plan is expected to be adopted in 2020.

When the new Lövsta CHP is commissioned, the Hässelbyverket will be demolished to provide space for approximately 1 500 homes in an attractive lakeside location with access to Lake Mälaren and a quay.

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