CIVITAS ECCENTRIC project piloted clean transport in Turku – Gasum contributed to reducing heavy-duty vehicle emissions
Gasum’s four-year partnership with the City of Turku within the framework of the CIVITAS ECCENTRIC project spawned a successful pilot and positive user experiences. Two biogas trucks reduced carbon dioxide emissions originating in the city’s logistics by almost 88 tonnes a year.
Autumn 2020 saw Gasum complete four years of cooperation with the City of Turku. Gasum was one of the City of Turku’s partners in the international CIVITAS ECCENTRIC initiative which ran from 2016 to 2020. Funded by the EU, the initiative studied clean, smart mobility of the future.
Turku led the development work on mobility as a service in the initiative. Gasum contributed to Turku’s goal to expand the use of biofuels by deploying two trucks powered by liquefied biogas (LBG). Besides Turku, other cities involved in the initiative were Madrid, Munich, Stockholm and Ruse (Bulgaria).
350 tonnes less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
”Together with the City of Turku, we studied how emissions are reduced when switching from diesel to biogas. One truck was used to take sewage sludge from Turun seudun puhdistamo wastewater treatment plant to our biogas plant in the Topinoja of Turku. The other truck transported nutrients from the biogas plant to be spread onto fields,” says Matti Ojanpää, Business Development Manager, Biogas at Gasum.
During the project, the trucks clocked up 137,100 kilometers, which meant that the carbon dioxide emissions they generated were reduced by an incredible 87.7 tonnes a year. Over the four-year project, this means an emissions reduction of around 350 tonnes.
The local partners in the Turku project had a total budget of around €3.2 million. In addition to Gasum, there were six other partners in the project, which neatly supported Turku’s goal to be a carbon-neutral city by 2029.
”Gasum’s activities in the project well demonstrated how biogas, particularly in heavy logistics, can accelerate the transition to low-emission transport chains. For their part, businesses and organizations can speed up the change in transport through their own choices and competitive tendering,” says Stella Aaltonen, Site Manager in the City of Turku’s CIVITAS ECCENTRIC project.
Operational reliability and emissions reduction commended
Ojanpää says that the project gave Gasum further evidence of the operational reliability and emissions reduction delivered by biogas-fueled trucks.
”User experiences of the project were very positive. Everything worked as expected, nor were there any technical issues whatsoever with the trucks throughout the four years. The project was a pilot in this area and can be scaled to any size.”
At the start of the project in 2016, Gasum opened a gas filling station in Turku for cars, commercial vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles. The filling station serves customers with liquefied and compressed biogas and natural gas.
”Our biogas plant in Turku also played an important role in the project. In addition, the trucks involved in the project implemented the circular economy in practice because they ran on a fuel made from biowaste and sewage sludge,” Matti Ojanpää says.
The Turku biogas plant was modernized in 2020, when it became the first plant in Finland to produce liquefied biogas.
Gasum investing in the gas infrastructure
Gasum aims to build a network of 50 filling stations for heavy-duty vehicles in the Nordic countries in the early 2020s. New filling stations will be built at transport hubs.
There are currently three filling stations in the Turku region. The station in Lieto serves heavy-duty vehicles only, the station in Raisio serves cars and the station in Turku Harbor serves both heavy-duty vehicles and cars.
Biogas is suitable as a fuel for cars and heavy-duty vehicles and is a fast way for companies to progress towards national and international emissions targets. The lifecycle emissions of biogas can be up to 90% lower compared to traditional fuels. In addition, since local emissions from biogas cars are almost non-existent, their use in urban driving has a direct impact on air quality.