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Driving energy efficiency: Excess heat from Kilpilahti industrial area in Finland could cover one quarter of district heating of the Helsinki region

photo: Kilpilahti industrial area in Porvoo, Finland.

photo: © Borealis

  • Study by Borealis Porvoo and local partners investigated three options
  • If implemented, heat delivery could be started as of 2025

Borealis aims to continuously reduce its energy footprint through greater energy efficiency and by developing innovative solutions that save energy along the value chain. The production plants of Borealis in Porvoo, Finland and Neste, the world's largest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and residues, located in Kilpilahti industrial area, produce a significant amount of low-temperature excess heat. So far, no solution exists to utilise this energy. Based on a recently completed preliminary study by Neste, Borealis and energy companies in the Helsinki Metropolitan area, the use of excess heat in the production of district heating is technically feasible. Excess heat from the Kilpilahti plants could cover approximately one quarter of the district heating volume required in the Helsinki region. Even more excess heat would be available, but its use is limited by the decreased need for heat in the summer season.

Three options were examined in the preliminary study. In the first option, district heating would be produced from excess heat in Kilpilahti using heat pumps and then transferred to the Helsinki region via a district heating pipeline. In the second option, low-temperature excess heat would be transferred from Kilpilahti to the Helsinki region via a subterranean tunnel and district heating would then be produced in the Helsinki region using heat pumps. In the third option, district heating would be produced from excess heat in Kilpilahti using heat pumps and then transferred to the Helsinki region via a district heating pipeline located inside a subterranean tunnel. The third option would enable the use of the tunnel for other purposes as well.

The preliminary study was funded by Neste Corporation, Borealis Polymers Oy, Fortum Power and Heat Oy, Helen Oy, Vantaan Energia Oy, Porvoon Energia Oy – Borgå Energi Ab and Keravan Energia Oy. It was conducted by Neste Engineering Solutions Oy in cooperation with Gaia Consulting Oy.

The parties involved will assess their ability to continue the project to the next phase. Decisions on the next steps will be taken by the end of this year. If implemented, the project would require a significant amount of construction work and, according to the preliminary study, the delivery of heat could be started earliest in 2025.

Energy & Climate

Energy consumption accounts for a significant proportion of Borealis’ total costs and for around 62% of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Improving energy efficiency is the most effective way to reduce the Group’s direct carbon footprint and its energy costs, while increasing its competitiveness. Energy efficiency also reduces Borealis’ reliance on public energy grids and improves the security of supply.

Energy and Climate is one of three strategic focus areas of Borealis’ sustainability strategy. Click here to learn more.

photo: Kilpilahti industrial area in Porvoo, Finland.

photo: © Borealis

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photo: Kilpilahti industrial area in Porvoo, Finland. photo: © Borealis
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Virginia Wieser
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