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Jukka Metsälä

VP, Traffic, Gasum

Gasum offers a solution for cleaner transport and industry in Sweden – Gas enables emission reductions fast and cost-efficiently

The Nordic countries are forerunners in renewables and circular economy deployment, but they too encounter challenges in responding to the growing demand for clean heavy-duty transport, marine and industrial operations. To reach the ambitious emission reduction targets set by the EU, all available tools need to be utilised. The Nordic energy company Gasum is doing its part by expanding its gas filling station network across the Nordics, and by investing in biogas capacity increase, good example about that is a joint biogas plant with Stora Enso at the latter’s Nymolla paper mill.

The greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for the coming years are very ambitious and the demand for cleaner solutions has increase rapidly. Earlier this year, the EU passed new emission standards, with the requirement that carbon dioxide emissions from heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) are to be reduced by 30 percent by 2030. In addition, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set a target of decreasing maritime emissions by 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. Sweden’s aim for road transport is to bring down emissions by 70 percent from the base 2010 level by 2030.

To respond to the growing demand for low-emission fuels in Sweden, Gasum has invested in gas infrastructure and is now building a network of new gas filling stations. The first stations are in Västerås and Norrköping, Örebro and Jonköping.

By end of the 2019 the company is targeting to have network of around 20 gas filling stations for heavy duty vehicles in Sweden and Finland. Overall, Gasum is aiming to create a network of 50 new HDV gas filling stations in Finland, Sweden and Norway by the early 2020s, which is an important step in the development of the gas HDV market and also in the development of the Nordic gas market as a whole. In addition, other players are also investing this infrastructure.

Scaling up renewable fuel production in Sweden through a new joint biogas plant with Stora Enso

In addition to expanding its filling station network and increasing availability of gas in industry and marine segments, Gasum is also investing heavily in increasing biogas production in Sweden by investing in its current biogas plants and through co-operation projects to develop the biogas market. An example of these co-operation projects is the opening of the new biogas plant with Stora Enso at the Nymolla paper mill, scheduled for 2020. The plant will be the largest liquefied biogas (LBG) facility in Sweden, offering renewable fuel for around 200 long haul trucks, with an expected production of 75–90 GWh per year.

The potential of biogas is significant in the Nordics since the feedstock base for biogas production is varied ranging from biowaste and sludges to manure and grass silage. The Nymolla biogas plant is a good example of expanding feedstock base in biogas production since the biogas plant is using effluent water from the paper mill as feedstock. The plant will represent an important milestone in promoting circular economy in co-operation with heavy industry in Sweden.

“The Nymölla biogas plant is a great example of the forerunner co-operation between Stora Enso and Gasum to increase sustainability in industrial processes and, at the same time, produce renewable fuel. This fuel can be used in industrial value chains like in road transport to further increase sustainability. We see significant potential in several industrial areas and in different co-operation models to increase biogas production capacity rapidly in the Nordics. I hope we can see new biogas projects soon not only in paper and pulp industry but also other sectors,” says Jukka Metsälä, Vice President, Traffic, Gasum.

Liquefied natural gas enables the transition to renewable fuels

By using natural gas, Sweden can achieve the emission reduction targets in HDV and marine transport set by EU and IMO fast and cost-efficiently. Gasum’s natural gas and biogas are the most cost-efficient fuels, thus significantly reducing costs for industry and transport and improving the competitiveness of local companies.

The use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Nordics has increased in the recent year especially in maritime transport. This growth is partly due to the increasingly stricter emission limits for vessels.

The use of LNG does not result in any sulphur oxide emissions and LNG also meets the emission targets set for nitrogen oxide, particulate and carbon dioxide emissions – which is important especially in the Baltic Sea area.

LNG plays an important role as an enabler in the transition to renewable fuels. It is the best available solution for rapid greenhouse gas emissions reductions, as its emissions are 15–20 percent lower compared to diesel fuel. The same gas infrastructure that is built for LNG can also be used for liquified biogas (LBG), making the shift to LBG easy and cost-efficient.

The use of environmentally friendly LBG can cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85 percent compared to fossil fuels. And the best part is that Gasum already provides these solutions today.

Writer is Vice President, Traffic in Gasum. Published 29.9.2019.

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