Construction of Vantaa Energy’s newest plant advances – energy recovery of hazardous waste will begin in 2025
Vantaa Energy’s newest Waste-To-Energy Plant is under construction, and the cornerstone laying ceremony will take place on September 13, 2023. At Vantaa Energy’s High-Temperature Incineration Plant, non-recyclable hazardous waste will be turned into safe and climate-friendly energy to heat buildings in Vantaa. For example, the plant will handle common household waste that is separately collected, such as pharmaceuticals, paints, adhesives and varnishes. Waste classified as hazardous is also generated in, e.g., paint industry processes.
The safety of the plant is the starting point for all design work.
“We have worked in good cooperation with different authorities and, together with the project implementers, have sought out experiences and best practices from around the world. This is certainly one of the most modern and safest facilities of its kind in the world,” says CEO Jukka Toivonen.
The thermal energy generated by the plant will be fed into Vantaa’s district heating network and used to heat homes and commercial buildings in Vantaa. The thermal energy generated from the waste treatment further reduces the use of fossil fuels in heat production. Annual production will be around 5-10% of Vantaa’s district heating demand. Vantaa Energy’s goal is to be a carbon-negative circular economy energy company by 2030.
“In the past, hazardous waste has been exported, but now it can be safely treated in Finland and even turned into energy. We are looking for new business opportunities from the circular economy and this project is a good step also in that direction. We want Vantaa’s district heating to continue to be the lowest emitting and the most affordable in the Helsinki metropolitan area,” says Toivonen.
With tightening EU legislation, the need for a hazardous waste treatment service is growing. In addition to the treatment capacity of the High-Temperature Incineration Plant, Vantaa Energy is applying for an environmental permit for an extension of the Waste-To-Energy Plant that started operating in 2022 so that it can use hazardous waste that is also well-suited to the plant’s treatment process.
The cost of the High-Temperature Incineration Plant is estimated at more than 160 million euros. The employment impact of the design and construction phase is about 500 person-years. Once production starts, the plant will employ around 14 people directly and more across the entire supply chain.
Vantaa Energy is exploring the possibility of capturing the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions.
“Vantaa Energy aims to capture the carbon dioxide generated by the energy recovery of non-recyclable waste and use it as a raw material for sustainable secondary products. Enabling the reuse of the resulting carbon dioxide will require changes to EU-level regulations,” notes Toivonen.
Jukka Toivonen, CEO, Vantaa Energy
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