A new €500 million ($569 million) biomass-fired combined heat and power plant has been inaugurated in Sweden.

The plant in Värtan is operated by Fortum Värme, a joint venture between Finnish energy company Fortum and the City of Stockholm, and it will start commercial production in the autumn.

It will use forest residues and wood waste to produce district heat for nearly 200,000 households and its daily consumption of wood chips will be approximately 12,000 cubic metres.

Fortum Värme said the plant will reduce emissions in the Stockholm area by 126,000 tonnes per year.

Managing director Anders Egelrud said: ‘After a long process, one of the world’s biggest biomass-fired combined heat and power plants has now been inaugurated. This is an important step towards a sustainable energy system in Stockholm and in Europe.’

Karin Wanngård, finance commissioner of the city of Stockholm, said that with the new plant, ‘90% of Fortum Värme’s energy production is based on renewable and recovered energy sources. That is quite unique. Our goal is naturally 100% renewable production.’

Fortum’s president Pekka Lundmark said that ‘high emissions and low efficiency of heating, cooling and electricity production are typical problems in growing urban areas’. 

‘Together with the City of Stockholm, we are taking steps towards a circular economy by utilising biomass, waste and recovered heat from data centres in energy production. Biomass is a renewable, largely local and carbon-neutral energy source. Its use increases the share of domestic energy resources particularly in Northern Europe, and it is an important building block of a sustainable energy system and bio economy.’