A combined heat and power  (CHP) plant in Finland will use a novel biofuel to power this year’s Helsinki International Horse Show.

The annual event, which consumes around 140 MWh, will be powered entirely by horse manure, a world first according to energy supplier Fortum. The company said producing the power needed for the event requires the annual manure output of 14 horses.  

During the event, Fortum’s HorsePower division will deliver wood-based bedding for the 250 horses that will be staying in temporary stalls at Helsinki’s Ice Hall. An estimated 135 tonnes of the manure-bedding mixture will then be transported to the firm’s 130 MW Järvenpää CHP plant, which normally runs on biomass including waste wood and peat.

The HorsePower business is a bedding and manure management service for stables, Fortum said, with the manure transported for use in energy production. The service has been operating in Finland’s Uusimaa region for several years, and the company says it is expanding its reach to cover much of the country’s southern and western regions.

The service was also launched this autumn in Sweden, where close to 3000 horses are now producing energy.

Tom Gordin, the show’s event director, said: “It’s great to participate in electrifying the pilot event of the Fortum HorsePower concept with horse manure. Overall, the concept is fascinating and creates tremendous opportunities for the entire horse sector in Europe.”

And Anssi Paalanen, vice-president of the HorsePower business, said he was “really proud that electricity produced with horse manure can be utilized for an event that is important to equestrian fans and the horse sector. It is great that Finland’s biggest and best-known horse show is a forerunner in energy and environmental issues.”