Gasum to create Finland's second largest biogas plant by late 2019

OSLO (Reuters) - Finnish state-owned gas firm Gasum plans to expand the processing capacity of its biogas plant in the city of Turku, making it the second largest such facility in the country, the firm said on Wednesday.

As a result of the expansion, which is scheduled to be completed by September 2019, the plant will be able to produce some 60 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of biogas annually, Gasum said, around double its current levels.

Increasing the production of biogas for use in business and transport is one of Finland’s energy and climate policy goals as it seeks to gradually phase out the use of coal.

Ari Suomilammi, Gasum’s biomas production director, told Reuters that the total expansion, including investment for a liquefaction facility, would cost about 30 million euros.

The project will allow the Turku plant, which is currently processing waste and sewage, to produce a higher concentration of biogas, which generates power and heating when burned.

The plant is currently able to process about 75,000 tonnes of organic waste. From September 2019, its capacity will be as high as 110,000 tonnes.

“This is a big step forward towards our goal of a low-carbon society and nutrient recycling – a genuine circular economy solution,” Gasum said in a statement.

Gasum owns twelve biogas plants across Finland and expanded production in Sweden with the acquisition of Swedish Biogas International a year ago, a move that made it the biggest biogas producer in the Nordics.

In October, Gasum started delivering liquefied biogas (LBG), a renewable version of liquefied natural gas (LNG), to Finnish customers.

Reporting by Lefteris Karagiannopoulos; Editing by Kirsten Donovan