Kiilto’s new joint network with a local energy company reduces emissions significantly

At the Kiilto plant, a large amount of surplus energy is generated from processes related to adhesives manufacture. Although most of the excess energy is used to heat the plant properties, the surplus is more than Kiilto can use, especially during the summer. With the new energy cooperation, the waste heat from the Kiilto Lempäälä plant will now be utilized in the Lempäälä district heating network during the warm season. 

“When Kiilto’s processes generate significant heat that they do not need it is best to circulate it,” says Toni Laakso, CEO of Lempäälän Lämpö. 

Connected by a heat pump plant

The Kiilto plant and the energy company Lempäälän Lämpö will be connected to each other by a Calefa AmbiHeat heat pump plant, which processes district heat from the plant’s waste heat and outdoor energy. With this solution, Lempäälän Lämpö will replace the use of gas in summer district heating production in the Sääksjärvi network. The new cooperation and configuration will result in carbon-neutral district heating.
Since 2018, Kiilto’s three-hectare industrial properties have been primarily heated with waste heat recovered from production plant processes. However, harsh frosts and cold spells during the winter have forced Kiilto to rely on natural gas as an additional heat source. But thanks to the energy cooperation, that will no longer be the case. Now connected to the local network, Kiilto’s very own winter district heating will be emission-free because Lempäälän Lämpö produces energy from renewable wood-based sources at wintertime.  
“This benefits us both. Lempäälän Lämpö receives CO2-free energy in the summer, which they would otherwise have to produce with natural gas, while we can make use of their district heat produced with wood chips,” says Kiilto’s Technical Manager Vesa Juhannusvuori.

“Operation in both directions gives greater reliability. When Kiilto has any excess heat, it can be used in the district heating network, and if they need heat it can be channelled back,” explains Toni Laakso. 

Ecosystems are part of the solution

According to Laakso, the sharing economy and energy cooperation will be integral to energy production in the future. More and more energy will be produced in smaller units, in a decentralised and local way. AmbiHeat heat pump plants could also have a transformative impact.

“We must get access to smaller and smaller streams and more sharing. As an energy company, we can take a broader view and increase the potential for synergies between industry and housing.”

Because Kiilto aims to be carbon-neutral within its own operations by 2028, it has begun a range of environmental measures. 

In terms of green energy, recovering excess heat has been the single most important measure for the Lempäälä plant from efficiency and financial points of view. The company’s energy bill has continued to shrink as CO2 emissions have reduced by more than 500,000 kilogrammes per year.

“The system works better than we expected. The production process quality has also improved as the cooling capacity in the new system is greater. It has also speeded up turnaround times, and the hot melt adhesive production line’s capacity has increased,” says Juhannusvuori.

“The new heat pump plant and energy cooperation with Lempäälän Lämpö are also a continuation of our journey with Calefa.”

Carbon-neutral by summer 2022

The construction work is now in full swing. The modular AmbiHeat heat pump plant will be delivered onsite and connected to both the plant and energy companies' systems. In summer 2022, excess heat from the Kiilto chemical plant will be flowing into the Sääksjärvi district heating network of Lempäälän Lämpö.
The AmbiHeat heat pump plant was developed my Calefa Oy, making use of energy sources in the environment. Calefa's CEO Petri Vuori sees ecosystem thinking and the related sharing economy as being highly beneficial to society at large. 

“It’s great that energy companies and the industry are coming up with partnership projects. These improve the energy efficiency of all parties concerned and reduce CO2 emissions considerably.”

Kiilto’s Supply Chain Director Petri Heljo sees the collaboration as a great example of the potential of energy ecosystems in the future as well.

“In such an arrangement at its best, all parties involved are both part of the solution and benefit from it.”