RAISIO, FINLAND — Raisio Group is investing in a new heating plant at its oat Nokia mill in Finland that will allow the facility to be carbon neutral and reduce energy costs.

The Adven heating plant will use byproducts from the mill as fuel. Nokia mill manufactures flakes of the Elovena, Nalle and Nordic brands as well as rye flour for the bakery industry.

Planning of the power plant is already underway and construction work will begin at the end of this year. The plant will be commissioned in early summer 2021.

Currently Nokia’s mill’s energy production emits about 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. With the new plant, emissions will drop to virtually zero.

“Adven has been our partner at Nokia for a long time, so it was natural to continue cooperation with them,” said Jukka Heinänen, chief operating officer, Healthy Ingredients Unit and Operations at Raisio Group. “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.”

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

Energy solutions are a key part of Raisio’s responsibility program, which aims for carbon neutrality in production by the end of 2023. Adven also has set a goal to reduce 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions of both its own and its customers’ energy production by 2024.

In addition to the environmental and cost saving benefits, the advantage of the new heating plant is that the fuel no longer needs to be transported from elsewhere. In industrial production, side streams typically are generated, and they can be recovered and harnessed for new uses: as raw materials, new products, and as a fuel for energy production.

When side streams, like oat husk, are used in energy production, energy costs are reduced, and the use of other fuels can be reduced. In addition, energy production utilizing side streams as a fuel increases energy self-sufficiency, and the industry is not dependent on changes in fuel prices.

“There is a clear trend that the byproducts generated in production are used in energy production, which favors local circular economy in an excellent way,” Ikonen said. “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.”

Raisio and Adven are long-term partners. Adven has been responsible for the energy production and operation of energy site at Nokia mill for almost 30 years. Adven will continue to be responsible for the operation and energy production of the new heating plant for the mill’s needs. The existing plant in the mill area will remain a reserve and peak-energy plant and will start using biogas as fuel when the new plant is completed.