In southeast Finland, in the region of Kymenlaasko, biomethane (biogas) produced for transport fuel has been sold for several months through Gasum fueling stations. Demand for the product is high, leading fuel retailer Gasum to consider the possibility of local self-sufficiency in motor fuels. During the first month of sales up to 10 per cent of motorists buying gas have opted for biomethane.
“We are positively surprised by the popularity of obtaining biogas. I believe that the sales are due to customers’ environmental awareness and transparent price information. Biogas production Kouvola added continuously, and we can provide biogas for new contract customers,” said Bjorn Ahlnäs, Vice President of New Ventures at Gasum Oy, at a breakfast seminar in the city of Kouvola. The seminar was entitled “Natural Gases in promoting sustainable development in Kymenlaakso”.
Minister of Economic Affairs Minister Jyri Häkämies said in his speech that due to the current economic situation, the State does not have the possibility to introduce any new forms of support for renewable energy support. Existing forms of support, however, will continue. The Government is committed to the program, for example. to develop the use of biomethane as vehicle fuel. ” The state must support the kind of development that private people have the opportunity to make cleaner choices,” Häkämies outlined.
Kymenlaakso already has good infrastructure for natural gas refueling, supporting the 29% of residents who responded in a recent European Commission economic research survey of Finland that they are ready to purchase either a gas or electric vehicle. Gasum commenced modifications to payment vending machines in October to add the biomethane option.
The biomethane is produced at the Kouvola Kymi Bioenergy Ltd biogas plant using raw materials from the region – sewage sludge, collected bio-waste and energy crops, about 19 000 tonnes a year. It is injected into Gasum’s distribution grid, with measurements taken and monthly reports submitted to ensure renewable gas sales match supply.
Several commercial entities have already entered into contracts for the purchase of biomethane for their fleets, including Gasum, Itella Post Ltd and Itella Logistics Ltd.
Gasum and power supplier KSS Energy signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2011, which aims at large-scale biogas plant construction for the Kouvola region in the near future.
(This article compiled using information from Gasum Oy press releases)