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14.11.2023

Suomen Lantakaasu Oy advancing biogas plant investments in North Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia and South Ostrobothnia

The Valio and St1 joint venture Suomen Lantakaasu Oy is exploring the implementation of new biogas plant complexes in several areas. The construction of possible new plant complexes is now being explored in the Kokkola-Pietarsaari, Nivala-Haapavesi and South Ostrobothnia regions. Along with the existing planned plant complexes, Suomen Lantakaasu Oy is progressing towards its production target of one terawatt-hour by 2030.

Suomen Lantakaasu Oy’s investment in the industrial-scale, centralised biogas plant in Kiuruvesi and its satellite plants in Upper Savo and North Karelia is progressing on schedule. In August, Suomen Lantakaasu and the city of Kiuruvesi agreed on the future site acquisition process and on the siting of the biogas plant complex. In October, Suomen Lantakaasu announced that it is planning complex-related satellite facilities in Varpaisjärvi, Nurmes and Sonkajärvi.

“Thanks to the good progress in the planning and zoning process for the Upper Savo plant, we can start planning the next biogas plant complexes. We are currently looking into biogas plant complexes in the Kokkola-Pietarsaari and Nivala-Haapavesi regions and we are also exploring opportunities in the South Ostrobothnia region. The aim is to have the biogas plants planned for Kiuruvesi and North, Central and South Ostrobothnia up and running by 2030. Among other things, the availability of sites zoned for the plants would give momentum to the biogas plant investments,” notes Matti Oksanen, Director, Gas Business at St1.

The preparation of Suomen Lantakaasu Oy’s first plant complex is currently moving forward in Upper Savo and North Karelia. The site in Kiuruvesi has already been selected, and the site selections for the satellite plants were confirmed in October. The progression of the preparatory work will also speed up the planning of the new plant complexes.

“We have been very pleased with the cooperation with the Upper Savo municipalities during the preparation of the biogas plant complex. Good experiences encourage rapid progression also with the new areas and new plant complexes. Good cooperation with regional municipalities or authorities has been very important for Suomen Lantakaasu’s investment in the Upper Savo area,” says Janika Keinänen, Valio’s Project Manager in charge of biogas business development.

The biogas plant complexes will produce biogas and hygienised biofertilisers from the manure and other agricultural by-products of local farms. Suomen Lantakaasu Oy will collect manure from farms and will provide the farms with the biofertiliser generated in the production of the biogas. The fertiliser treated in the plant is less odorous, more efficient and more environmentally friendly than untreated manure. With the new biofertiliser, farm nitrogen fertiliser costs will decrease because the amount of soluble nitrogen in biofertiliser is as much as 20-30% higher than in manure.

Clean transition investments bring prosperity and growth throughout Finland

The clean transition can bring significant vitality-enhancing investments and capital to regions. The Ostrobothnia region as a whole is rich in manure and agricultural waste, which makes biogas plant investments a viable option specifically for this region. However, the implementation of biogas projects also requires the government to take an active role, for example in upgrading roads and other infrastructure. In addition, investments in the green transition require a stable business environment and support mechanisms to encourage investment in renewable energy production. The government has an important role in creating incentives to increase the use of renewable fuels and energy sources. Investing in renewable fuels and increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix will accelerate a carbon-neutral society. Policy measures to support low-carbon and zero-emission energy systems are a prerequisite for a successful green transition.

“The planning of the industrial-scale biogas production as envisaged by Suomen Lantakaasu Oy, including the permitting and construction phases, will take about half a decade. Taking on such projects requires the regulatory framework to be predictable and stable and the support environment to be effective and efficient from an investment perspective. The investments will create economic activity in Finland for decades to come, so it must be made sure that companies have no uncertainty about the political climate,” concludes Janika Keinänen.

Suomen Lantakaasu Oy

  • Food company Valio and energy company St1 have established a joint venture to produce renewable biogas from dairy farm manure and agricultural by-products to fuel transport.
  • In Finland, of the around 15-17 million tonnes of livestock manure produced annually, some 7-8 million tonnes are produced on farms belonging to cooperatives that own Valio.
  • Finland has enough manure to produce about 3-5 TWh of biomethane, which could fuel 400,000 passenger cars or almost 30,000 light trucks per year.
  • In addition to biomethane, bioplants can produce recycled fertilisers, bedding or growing media. The recycling of manure reduces the carbon footprint of dairy farms by up to 10%. Higher quality fertiliser reduces the farm’s need for imported fertilisers by 20-30% and thus improves farm profitability.
  • Domestically produced renewable fuel contributes significantly to the national roadmap for fossil-free transport and improves Finland’s fuel self-sufficiency.
  • Suomen Lantakaasu Oy’s first project in Ylä-Savo is funded by the European Union NextGenerationEU.

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