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Lahti Energia secures €75m loan from EIB to build biomass plant in Finland

Finnish regional power utility Lahti Energia has received a €75 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to construct a biomass-fired combined heat and power plant.

The new Kymijärvi III plant, to be located in the city of Lahti in southern Finland, will initially produce 150MW of district heat from certified forestry biomass.

The facility will also include a heat recovery plant, which cleans the resultant flue gases while improving the plant’s operating efficiency.

Eero Seesvaara, CEO of Lahti Energia, said he was pleased the energy producer and EIB had reached an agreement.

”The EIB offered cost-efficient funding for this project, which is important not only to Lahti Energia, but also to the City of Lahti,” Seesvaara said.

The new CHP plant is expected to come online in 2019, when it will replace the old Kymijärvi I coal plant at the same location.

While initially only used for heat production, there are plans to use the coal plant’s facilities to install 50MW worth of energy production capacity if the Finnish energy market recovers.

”Energy production is always a priority for the EIB”, said EIB’s VP for Finland Jan Vapaavuori.

“Developing renewable energy is key for reaching our climate change goals. The CHP plant will boost heat production in the Lahti area and allow its residents to reap the project’s benefits as well,” concluded Vapaavuori.

This article was written by Ilari Kauppila, deputy editor at Bioenergy Insight