The Vaasa region is the home of the energy cluster in Finland. The next step in the successful local EnergySampo cooperation is the construction of a next generation synthetic methane (LSNG) production plant at Westenergy’s WtE site in Mustasaari next to Vaasa. The EnergySampo CCU consortium is currently finalizing funding for the project, and once confirmed, the plant is scheduled to be built in 2023–2025. The EnergySampo CCU project supports Finland’s journey towards a carbon-neutral future in line with EU’s “Fit for 55” goals, promotes decoupling from fossil fuels and plays a key role in the region’s quest for carbon-negative district heating.
CCU refers to the capture and utilization of carbon dioxide, a key part of the new plant concept. The innovative modular plant complex producing LSNG consists of four main processes: the capture of carbon dioxide from the flue gases of the Westenergy plant, the production of hydrogen through an electrolysis process, the combination of hydrogen and carbon dioxide into synthetic methane in the chemical methanation process, and the liquefaction of synthetic methane into transport fuel. The production process is powered by 100% renewable wind energy.
The plant will have a production capacity of 7,300 tonnes of LSNG per year (112 GWh). This equals the annual fuel consumption of almost 500 trucks, a thousand lorries or two passenger ferries sailing between Vaasa and Umeå in the Kvarken. In addition, the process generates an optimized amount of heat, which is utilized in the local district heating network. The plant will reduce Westenergy’s fossil CO2 emissions by 25%. The LSNG supply will utilize the existing natural gas and biogas distribution networks, thus enabling and ensuring the efficient utilization of the methane-bound green hydrogen.
The EU has set an already aggressive target of over 40 GW of electrolyzer capacity by 2030. And this target will rise as investments in green hydrogen and LSNG increase. The energy-dense synthetic methane is an excellent medium for the storage and utilization of hydrogen thanks to the already existing gas infrastructure. The replacement of fossil natural gas with synthetic gas fuels will play a significant role in the power generation and transport fuel mix in the coming decades.
According to Olli Alhoniemi, CEO of Westenergy, the EnergySampo CCU project is an excellent example of what can be achieved by an open-minded cooperation to build new, more efficient and climate-friendly solutions that not only reduce the regional carbon footprint but also develop new export capabilities for a global impact. This project will create a new energy ecosystem combining know-how across different business segments. That is why this project is really interesting.
EnergySampo is a platform for cooperation and development established by Finnish companies operating in the global energy export market to enable and promote new ecosystem-level energy solutions. The CCU project is a joint effort of key export companies to implement the next generation of low-emission carbon capture and power-to-gas technologies. In the future, the LSNG plant will provide a test bed for new technologies and act as a showpiece of Finnish know-how in a field, where the export potential extends to billions of euros. The modular and scalable solutions will support the export activities of companies in the region, both in terms of total solutions and individual technologies, and they will also enable Westenergy to expand its carbon capture towards full climate positivity.
The EnergySampo CCU consortium is led by Westenergy and includes, among others, several key partner companies of EnergySampo, such as Oy Danfoss Ab, EPV Energia Oy, Ab Stormossen Oy, Vaasan Sähkö Oy, WOIMA Finland Oy and Wärtsilä Finland Oy. AFRY Finland Oy acts as the technical and economic planning consultant for the project, and the consortium is also assisted by Technology Centre Merinova.
Olli Alhoniemi (CEO)
+358 50 569 3337
Juha Ripatti (Head of Business Intelligence)
+358 40 676 4784