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Gasum opens world's first vehicle gas refuelling station at an IKEA store

Finland-headed gas major Gasum Oy has opened its first new vehicle gas refilling station in 2018 together with the IKEA retail store in Lommila, Espoo, Finland. The new filling station is part of the circular economy collaboration between Gasum and IKEA Finland and is the world’s first gas refuelling station opened in conjunction with an IKEA store.

The number of gas-fueled vehicles is increasing at a record rate in Finland, and Gasum is promoting cleaner transport by expanding the vehicle gas filling station network using both biomethane and fossil gas (photo courtesy Gasum).

The cooperation between Gasum and IKEA Finland, the Finnish arm of Sweden-headed global furniture retail major IKEA, will result in the production of biogas from food waste generated in all of IKEA restaurants in Finland. In addition, the cooperation aims to increase the distribution of environmentally vehicle gas to serve the needs of consumers and enterprises alike in conjunction with IKEA stores in Finland.

The gas refuelling station opened in Espoo is the world’s first gas filling station opened in conjunction with an IKEA store. The Finnish IKEA stores are the first IKEA units at which gas filling stations are introduced.

Our primary approach is to reduce food wastage at IKEA restaurants, but this enables the recovery of any minor amounts of food waste that are still generated. Cooperation with Gasum provides us with yet another way of creating a better everyday life in Finland, said Tiina Suvanto, Country Sustainability Manager at IKEA Finland.

Utilizing food waste from IKEA restaurants as feedstock in biogas production and the gas filling stations constructed in conjunction with IKEA stores are an example of the circular economy becoming part of consumers’ lives and opening up new opportunities for businesses for cleaner operations. The new gas filling stations enable the future use of environmentally friendly biomethane in IKEA Finland’s operations and to fuel IKEA buses and vehicles of IKEA’s transport partners and employees.

It’s excellent that the first IKEA store gas filling station is now open in Finland. This increases the opportunities to fill up on 100 percent clean Finnish biogas. At the same time, IKEA is able to utilize food waste from its restaurants in energy production and gets to increase the use of road fuel gas in its logistics, said Jukka Metsälä Vice-President for Biogas at Gasum.

Rapid growth in demand

In transport use, biomethane helps reduce the fuel’s lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85 percent. Therefore biomethane produced in Finland is seen as an easy and inexpensive way to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) and fine particulate matter (PM) emissions from transport.

The demand for biomethane as a road transportation fuel in Finland is growing rapidly. In 2017, the number of gas vehicles registered in Finland was around three times greater than the year before. Before 2017, there were fewer than 2 000 gas natural gas vehicles (NGVs) on Finland’s roads, while the current figure is already around 3 500 registrations.

The number of NGVs is increasing in all vehicle categories and the selection of gas vehicles available is increasing all the time. Volvo, Iveco and Scania have recently presented new gas-fueled truck models, and the new gas bus models have also attracted plenty of interest.

In addition, several companies have increased the number of gas-fueled vehicles in their distribution and waste logistics fleets. Finland’s best-selling car models are already available as gas versions, which is increasing consumer interest in the gas option.

Biogas is anticipated to play an important role in the transport energy solutions of the future. The State has promoted the transport use of biogas significantly through measures such as the energy key project support. Capacities for using gas as a vehicle fuel can be improved by increasing the production of gas and expanding the filling station network, said Kimmo Tiilikainen, Finland’s Minister of Agriculture and the Environment.

Currently, there are almost 40 gas filling stations in Finland, with 26 of these operated by Gasum. The company is planning to open a total of 35 new filling stations in the next few years, with seven of these already open. Currently, new gas filling stations are being planned for locations including the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Turku, Oulu, Lahti, Seinäjoki and Kuopio.

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