Investments Finland’s largest clean hydrogen production plant is planned in Lahti – the plant would produce fuel for heavy traffic and heat a large part of the city

The total cost of the plant is estimated at approximately EUR 250 million.

To the bay Finland’s largest concentration of the hydrogen economy may emerge in the next few years. The city’s energy company, together with the project company Ren-Gas, is planning a large clean hydrogen production plant in connection with the Kymijärvi power plant, the hydrogen produced by which will be further processed into synthetic methane as a heavy fuel fuel.

The cost of the two-phase plant is estimated at around EUR 250 million. A final investment decision has not yet been made, but the companies said on Wednesday they would begin to investigate the feasibility of the project. However promising, however, the project shows that the parties already dared to make it public.

“We already did the first preliminary study during the autumn, which makes the project promising,” says Ren-Gas’s CEO Saara Kujala.

The feasibility study will take about six months to complete, and the goal is for construction of the plant to begin by the end of 2023. The first phase of commercial production could begin in 2025. The full scale of the facility could be in 2030.

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Scheduled the production process is carried out in such a way that the hydrogen required as a fuel feedstock is first separated from the water by electrolysis. The electricity needed for the process is generated by wind power, so the process produces no emissions at all.

If implemented, the plant would be Finland’s largest green hydrogen plant investment. The final capacity of the hydrogen electrolysis plant is planned to be 120 megawatts. Fuel refiner Neste is currently planning a 50-megawatt electrolysis plant in connection with the Kilpilahti refinery.

The hydrogen is then combined with carbon dioxide, which is recovered from the emissions of Lahti Energia’s bioboiler. This produces synthetic methane, which is then liquefied. This methane can be used as a fuel for heavy traffic. Kujala says the intention is to produce clean, renewable fuel for “the heaviest segment of heavy traffic”. In that “segment”, electrification may not be an option for a long time.

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The goal is that by 2030, the plant could produce 36,000 tons of synthetic methane per year, which could replace roughly 50 million liters of diesel.

The process generates a lot of waste heat, which in turn is to be utilized in the Lahti district heating network. In 2030, waste heat could cover up to 40 percent of Lahti’s district heating needs.

According to Kujala, the planned investment in Lahti will not be carried out on market terms, but will require public investment support. According to him, support is needed to accelerate the introduction of new, low-carbon technology.

“In the longer term, we will see that we are able to operate on market terms,” he says.

Ring is a company founded last year, the aim of which is to build a decentralized production and distribution network for synthetic fuels in Finland in the next few years. The Lahti project is the company’s first announced project. According to Kujala, the company could have a network of 10–15 plants in the future.

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According to Kujala, Lahti is a favorable location for the plant because the city is a long-distance transport hub where fuel distribution is easy.

Among other things, the main owner of the cargo handling company Cargotec has invested in the company Ilkka Herlin.

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