The European Union has announced it will invest €2.9 million in the expansion of the LNG filling station network in Finland by national energy firm Gasum.
Delivered under the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the support proposal covers the construction of up to 14 gas filling stations in the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) area in Finland.
“The stations to be built include both new LNG and biogas filling stations for heavy-duty vehicles and compressed natural gas and biogas filling stations for cars, delivery vehicles and waste management vehicles,” a spokesperson for Gasum commented.
50 stations across Finland
The ambitious roll-out is only part of a wider investment planned by Gasum to construct a total of around 50 stations in Finland, Sweden and Norway in the next few years.
“The new filling stations will be located at key transport nodes as regards logistics operations, and they will enable significant increases in the use of liquefied natural gas and biogas in heavy-duty transport,”
The news follows the successful launch of Gasum’s first LNG filling stations located in Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Turku and Vantaa last year and the group notes that the number of gas-fuelled vehicles registered in Finland has more than doubled in the past couple of years, rising from just under 2,000 in 2017, to the current figure already exceeding 5,500.
LBG refuelling first
In tandem with development of LNG infrastructure, Gasum has also been exploring the use of biogas for transport and in October announced the first refuelling of the Nornickel Harjavalta and Suomen Teollisuuden Energiapalvelut (STEP) bio steam boiler plant using liquefied biogas (LBG) from Skangas.
“Using liquefied biogas is a natural development towards an even cleaner operation and environment,” says Marko Mikkola, Director Operations support & EHSQ, Nornickel Harjavalta.
LBG “hand in hand” with LNG development
The STEP steam boiler plant produces around 220,000 MWh of steam fuelled by wood pellets and is supported by back-up LNG fuel from Skangas. Gasum note that because the LNG and LBG mainly consist of methane “the existing LNG supply infrastructure can be used” and as a result the two fuels will “continue to walk hand in hand as the availability of LBG on the market is on the rise.”
“Having replaced oil products with LNG in hydrogen production and bioenergy we are already significantly reducing our fossil CO2 emissions. As renewable LBG becomes increasingly available we will continue to improve our environmental footprint,” Mikkola concludes.