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Gasum, Stora Enso open Nymölla biogas plant

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Gasum and renewable materials provider Stora Enso have opened a biogas plant in Nymölla, Sweden.

The ‘groundbreaking’ plant, opened on 27 April, converts process water generated by Stora Enso’s Nymölla paper mill into liquefied biogas (LBG). The plant will produce renewable fuel for the road transport, industry, and maritime sectors.

The Nymölla mill produces 340,000 tonnes of pulp and 485,000 tonnes of wood-free office paper annually. Gasum’s biogas plant is situated in the mill area and is connected to the mill’s existing effluent system. The received process water is treated in an anaerobic high-rate reactor, where the organic content is transformed into methane. The anaerobically treated process water, which now contains 50-60% fewer organic compounds, is led back to the mill’s existing aerobic wastewater treatment plant. The resulting biogas is upgraded and liquefied.

“The driving force behind this pioneering joint venture was the mutual interest in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and creating something valuable out of waste,” said Johanna Lamminen, Gasum’s CEO.

“The result is a plant that can produce 75-80 GWh of LBG every year - enough to supply the annual fuel consumption of up to 200 trucks. The demand for cleaner fuels and transport is huge; the construction and opening of the plant will enable biogas to reach the industrial scale required to meet the needs of maritime, heavy transport, and other industry actors looking to reduce their carbon footprint.”

The total investment in the Nymölla plant is almost SEK 320 million (€31.5 million), with Gasum investing SEK 270 million (€26.6 million) in the project, Stora Enso SEK 50 million (€4.9 million), and an additional SEK 121.5 million (€11.9 million) came in the form of a grant from the Swedish Environmental Protection agency, through ‘Klimatklivet’, a grant initiative supporting local and regional innovations to reduce CO2 emissions.

Kati ter Horst, executive vice-president of Stora Enso, commented: “Sustainable operations and resource efficiency are at the core of our business. This project is a good example of how we are able to achieve these goals and help our customers meet their sustainability targets by using our products.

“We are always trying to find the most innovative, sustainable solutions, which calls for partnering with like-minded companies such as Gasum. After three years working on this project, we are excited to see the plant officially open at Nymölla, one of our key sites.”