Finland’s first industrial-scale Power-to-Gas plant – Vantaa Energy and Wärtsilä take Finland towards carbon neutrality
Vantaa Energy and the technology company Wärtsilä signed a co-operation agreement this year on the pre-engineering of a significant Power-to-Gas (P2G) plant that produces synthetic methane. Due to be commissioned in 2025, upon completion, the P2G i.e. the electric fuel plant will be the largest in Finland and also the first to produce carbon-neutral, synthetic methane on a commercial scale with a fuel capacity of 10 megawatts.
Production of synthetic methane plays an important role in sustainable energy production based on renewable energy forms. It supports the European Union’s target to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. In Finland, the target is more ambitious than this: the target year for carbon neutrality is 2035. Vantaa Energy will phase out the use of fossil fuels in its energy production by 2026, and the P2G plant is an important step towards this target.
“This is the first commercial plant of an industrial-scale, utilising the carbon dioxide flows of flue gases produced in the processing of waste. Synthetic methane is produced from captured carbon dioxide and from hydrogen produced with renewable energy. It is carbon neutral because its production method uses the same amount of carbon dioxide as is released in its combustion,” describes Vantaa Energy’s Business Development Manager Matias Siponen.
Gas produced by the electric fuel plant is, in practice, the same product as natural gas or biogas. Phasing out of fossil energy sources by utilising different technologies in a versatile way drives development further towards a carbon-negative Vantaa Energy in 2030. As a result of the electric fuel plant, Vantaa Energy will start using electricity produced with renewable energy sources in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions caused by gas use, heating and transport. In the future, it will hopefully be possible to do much more with hydrogen and carbon dioxide, such as plastic products.
“In addition to being able to make carbon-neutral alternatives to oil and fossil fuels from carbon dioxide and hydrogen, it may be possible to make, e.g. protein from them in the future. The world is open, and at the moment we don’t even know what else synthetic hydrocarbon will be used for in the future,” Siponen says.
Wärtsilä responsible for pre-engineering of the plant
The technology company Wärtsilä is also looking to the future. In the company’s visions for the future, energy will be produced with 100% renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, the variable production of which will be balanced with power plants running on renewable fuels and with energy storage systems. The plant representing state-of-the-art technology and implemented with Vantaa Energy supports this vision. In the project, Wärtsilä manages the technical pre-engineering of the production plant and fuel distribution.
“Vantaa Energy’s electric fuel plant is the first of its kind in Finland, and its design process has increased our understanding of how to move towards a fossil-free future. At the same time, we develop the markets and our expertise in cooperation with our customers and other stakeholders. We have already learnt a great deal, and the project as a whole has created added value to everything we do,” says Reetta Kaila, Director, Sustainable Fuels & Environment at Wärtsilä Energy.
Wärtsilä is a forerunner in the expertise of future energy solutions and modelling of energy systems. As part of this work, it develops Power-to-X applications that have a great role in achieving climate targets on a global scale. Power-to-X technologies convert electricity into a chemical energy form, which enables the possibility for various industrial sectors to utilise fossil-free energy and facilitates longer-term storage and transport of energy. Wärtsilä’s pre-engineering work is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, and the target completion time for the project is the beginning of 2025.
Matias Siponen, Business Development Manager, Vantaa Energy Ltd
Reetta Kaila, Director, Sustainable Fuels & Environment, Wärtsilä Energy
Vantaa Energy Ltd
Vantaa Energy is one of Finland’s largest city energy companies. We produce heat, electricity and energy efficiency services. We enable a smooth everyday life for our customers by producing constantly developing services in a climate-friendly way.
The energy sector plays a significant role in the mitigation of climate change. We want to be part of the solution. We are a growing circular economy energy company that invests in finding carbon-neutral energy solutions. We will phase out fossil fuels by 2026 and are progressing towards carbon negativity by 2030.
Wärtsilä Energy leads the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. We help our customers in decarbonisation by developing market-leading technologies. These cover current and future-fuel enabled balancing power plants, hybrid solutions, energy storage and optimisation technology, including the GEMS energy management platform. Wärtsilä Energy’s lifecycle services are designed to increase efficiency, promote reliability and guarantee operational performance. Our track record comprises 74 GW of power plant capacity and more than 80 energy storage systems delivered to 180 countries around the world.