Finnish food manufacturer to utilise oat husks for bioenergy production

Finnish health food and fish feed manufacturer Raisio Group will use bioenergy to reduce emissions at its Nokia oat mill. Working with local energy firm Adven, the company will implement a new heating plant at the site, which will use the by-products generated in the mill’s oat production as fuel.

With the new heating plant, Nokia’s mill will be carbon neutral, according to Adven, and energy costs will be reduced. Once the facility is operational, all of Raisio’s production facilities will be carbon neutral in terms of energy production.

The organisation previously made investments of around €8 million in the Nokia mill, which is one of the largest oat mills in Finland. The Nokia mill manufactures the flakes that are used in Elovena, Nalle and Nordic brands and rye flour for the baking industry.

Jukka Heinänen, COO of Raisio’s Healthy Ingredients Unit and Operations, said: “Adven has been our partner at Nokia for a long time, so it was natural to continue cooperation with them. Our goal is to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy, always when ecologically and economically viable. In this case, the new heating plant will also bring us cost savings.”

“It is great to continue the long-term partnership with Raisio and together to be able to implement significant emission reductions,” added Adven account manager Elli Ikonen, “which support both Raisio’s and Adven’s responsibility goals.”

In addition to the environmental and financial benefits, another advantage of the new heating plant is that the fuel no longer needs to be transported from elsewhere. When ‘side streams’ such as oat husk are used in energy production, costs are reduced and the use of other fuels can also be reduced. Ikonen said: “There is a clear trend that the by-products generated in production are used in energy production, which favours local circular economy in an excellent way.

“Adven, together with its customers, is constantly looking for opportunities to take advantage of various side verses. Boiler technology has developed, so it is easier to produce energy from fuels that were not previously suitable for energy production.”

Adven has been responsible for the energy production and operation of the energy site at Nokia mill for almost 30 years. The firm will continue to be responsible for the operation and energy production of the new biomass heating plant. The existing plant in the mill area will remain a reserve and will start using biogas as fuel when the new plant is complete.

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