In Finland, the Board of Directors of Helsinki municipal energy utility Helen Oy has decided to close its Hanasaari energy plant ahead of the original schedule. The Board also decided to launch an investigation on the possibility of bringing forward the deadline of the planned coal phase-out in energy production at its Salmisaari energy plant to April 1, 2024, instead of the previous 2029. If implemented, Helen would completely cease using coal five years earlier than originally anticipated.
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Over the past few years, Helen has been developing a diverse carbon-neutral energy platform with waste heat recovery, heat storage facilities, heating- and cooling plants in use since 2006, as well as its Vuosaari C bioenergy heating plant and seawater heat pump project both of which are under construction.
The potential early phasing out of coal in Salmisaari would accelerate Helen’s transition to a carbon-neutral distributed city energy system, which would boost the utilization of the possibilities of a new energy era for Helen and customers alike.
This transition will result in pressure to make organizational changes within the company. In parallel to the study on bringing the coal phase-out schedule forward, Helen will launch cooperation negotiations with respect to just over 400 employees in the Production and Asset Management business unit.
According to a preliminary estimate, the number of employees in the Production and Asset Management business unit could be reduced by up to 320 people as a result of the adjustment measures.
Helen will report on the plans for the Salmisaari power plant after the Board has made its decision, anticipated to be in December‒January.