During its ten years of operation, Kaukaan Voima’s bio energy-fuelled combined heat and electricity power plant has cut the district heating emissions in Lappeenranta in half. The power plant produces carbon dioxide-neutral process steam for the UPM Kaukas mills and 85 per cent of the town’s district heating. The contribution of Kaukaan Voima in Lappeenranta achieving its emission goals is significant.

“The partnership between industry and society in the Kaukaan Voima biopower plant has proven effective and driven a positive development in terms of the climate. Kaukaan Voima has a history of being a pioneer in carbon neutrality in the energy sector. The shared intent of Kaukaan Voima and its shareholders is to achieve carbon neutrality,” says Juha Kouki, managing director of Kaukaan Voima.

The objective of Lappeenranta, which is one of the participants in the Hinku network for carbon-neutral municipalities, is to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2030. The greatest reduction in emissions has been achieved by switching to bio energy in the production of district heat. Currently, the town of Lappeenranta is a finalist in the European Green Leaf Award competition for towns and cities in Europe, organised by the European Commission, to recognise commitment to better environmental outcomes.

Share of natural gas decreased to 20 per cent

The Kaukaan Voima biopower plant is one of the largest users of solid wood fuel in Finland. The fuel used by the plant mainly consists of bark, branches, crowns and wood from thinning, which cannot be used as material in the forest industry. The share of renewable wood-based fuels is 80 per cent, of which approximately a half is by-products from the UPM Kaukas mill site.

The biopower plant plays a crucial role in the achievement of the climate objectives in the region. Once the biopower plant was completed, it replaced a portion of the natural gas-based production of process heat at the UPM Kaukas mill and Lappeenrannan Energia’s district heat production.

“The biopower plant reduced the share of natural gas in the fuel used for district heat production in Lappeenranta to one fifth. The district heat emissions in Lappeenranta are approximately 50 per cent lower than the average in Finland,” says Reijo Kolehmainen, managing director of Lappeenrannan Energia.

“Fossil carbon-free energy sources make up most of UPM’s energy portfolio. We are committed to the UN’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C pledge to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. Forests, renewable energy and wood-based products, which are also produced in Lappeenranta, have an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change,” says Matti Laaksonen, General Manager of UPM Kaukas paper mill.”

Pohjolan Voima Oyj owns 54 per cent and Lappeenrannan Energia owns 46 per cent of Kaukaan Voima Oyj. The biopower plant is located on the UPM Kaukas paper mill site in Lappeenranta. UPM Kaukas provides the power plant’s operating services. The combined heat and power plant produces process steam and electricity for the UPM Kaukas mill and district heat and electricity for Lappeenrannan Energia.

Additional information:

Juha Kouki, managing director, Kaukaan Voima Oy, tel. +358 40 547 0692, juha.kouki@pvo.fi

Reijo Kolehmainen, managing director, Lappeenrannan Energia Oy, tel. +358 40 548 6360, reijo.kolehmainen@lreoy.fi

Matti Laaksonen, director, UPM Kaukas paper mill, UPM, tel. +358 400 982 673, matti.j.laaksonen@upm.com