Hyvä Suomi! Centennial biomass opportunities in Finland
This year, Finland celebrates 100 years as an independent nation. Over the century the country has carved out an international renown with businesses that have grown into global majors in sectors such as forestry, forest products, and mechanical engineering to mention a few. And although highly industrialised with energy intensive industries, Finland is one of only three European Union (EU) Member States (MS) where the share of fossil fuels in energy consumption is under 50 percent.
According to Eurostat, fossil fuels in Finnish energy consumption 2015 had a 46 percent share. That is set to drop further and at a rapid pace. In its “Energy and Climate Strategy for 2030 and Beyond”, the Finnish government proposed amongst other things to phase out the use of coal in energy production by 2030 and to have climate-neutral energy production by 2050.
There are substantial investments going into new bioenergy plants, especially in southern Finland and it’s metropolitan areas, where significant share fossil fuels such as coal and gas are still used. The upcoming Nordic-Baltic Bioenergy Conference, which takes in Helsinki 29-31 March, is the perfect opportunity to get updated on what is happening, to make yourself known among Finnish, Nordic and Baltic participants and of course do business.
Here are some recent examples of bioenergy initiatives in southern Finland:
- In 2015, Fortum converted two 40 MW oil-fired boilers to pellets in its Kivenlahti heating plant in Espoo, west of Helsinki.
- Fortum with partners is investing EUR 260 million in a new combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Naantali near Turku. Biopower will replace coal and the plant will be completed in the fall. Wood chips will be the main fuel. The capacity is 142 MW electricity, 244 MW heat and 50 MW steam.
- Helen Oy is building a new pellet heating plant, 100 MW, at its Salmisaari power plant in Helsinki and it is scheduled for completion in 2018.
- Lahti Energia will build a facility that will provide 150 MW heat and be prepared to supply 50 MW electricity by 2019.
- A new 90 MW pellet boiler was recently completed in Seinäjoki. The boiler will be used for peak load and backup load and replace fossil oil. An existing 30 MW oil-fired boiler is also converted to pellets.
- A major conversion of a coal-fired power plant is planned in Vantaa, outside Helsinki.
- Finnish Fortum is also very active with investments in Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and Russia.
Finland is not alone in having made commitments and making significant investments into bioenergy solutions; the entire Baltic Sea Region is a bioenergy showcase from small heat plants to advanced biorefineries. Both DONG Energy in Denmark and Fortum Värme in Sweden have made recent announcements to phase out coal by 2023 and 2022 respectively. In Helsinki, you will meet the experts and companies that are active in the bioenergy sector on the Nordic-Baltic markets.
The programme also includes an opportunity to visit Neste’s advanced biofuels refinery, the Hake Vuori fuel terminal, and Porvoon Energia power plant. Admission to the concurrent biotechnology exhibition Chembio is included in the conference fee. A discount is available for full members of the national bioenergy associations and for participants from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and, Poland.
As media partners, we look forward to getting firsthand biomass news and views from a centennial Finland.