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Fortum to enter the energy from waste business in the UK

Fortum is expanding its UK based operations and is starting to build a new energy from waste plant in Glasgow, Scotland.

The market entry is a major step forward in Fortum’s ambition to transform the energy from waste sector with its novel Carbon2x concept, which has already concluded the first round of pilot testing. The concept aims to capture emissions from waste incineration and turn them into CO2 based, high quality raw materials. The company estimates that Carbon2x will help reduce the dependence on fossil based raw materials, improve Europe’s self-sufficiency and decarbonise waste incineration.

‘The UK energy from waste market is in an interesting development phase and will, over time, offer the potential for further investments in energy from waste. At Fortum our objective is to reuse, recycle and utilise as much of the waste streams as possible; we want to make waste incineration fully circular. This means that also CO2 emissions should be turned into new raw materials. To do this at scale, we need to rethink how we do recycling in general. In the UK alone, there are 48 energy for waste plants, meaning that 11 million tonnes of CO2 could be captured and reused in a year. We want to tap into this potential and bring our competence and track record of pioneering waste solutions to the market,’ stated Kalle Saarimaa, vice president of recycling and waste at Fortum.

In the UK, a total of 3600 million kilograms of plastics is used for making products every year. At the same time, only 41% of this plastic is collected for recycling. Carbon2x can help recycle these plastics that are not currently captured in separate collection. Simultaneously, 90% of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere can be captured and utilised as new products; as a result, the climate impact of waste incineration would become net negative, when Carbon2x is applied.

For several years, Fortum has been providing operation and maintenance services to external energy industry customers in the UK. Entering the energy from waste business in the UK further expands the company’s presence in the market. Next to the UK, the company is also looking to expand into other markets in continental Europe.

‘We have a holistic approach and competence in waste management. This wider entry to the UK enables us to investigate the investment potential for our other strategic growth areas, such as the recycling of batteries and waste to energy ash recycling. In the future, also in the UK, we could not only capture and use the emissions from the waste incineration, but also recover and reuse valuable raw materials from the ash. For us, the concept of ‘waste’ does not exist. There is only material that can be used and reused again, with the right solutions and competence in place,’ concluded Kalle Saarimaa.


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