Exclusive Interview with Gasum featured in the EBA Newsletter – March 2024

Last February 2024, the European Commission published its Communication outlining the ambitious Climate Target for 2040, which proposes a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This target represents a clear and necessary response to the ongoing climate crisis. In light of this crucial development, we interviewed Ari Suomilammi, the Head of Renewable Gases at Gasum, to delve into the alignment of Gasum’s activities with the EC 2040 Climate Target. In this interview, we explore Gasum’s strategies, innovations, and contributions toward achieving the shared environmental objectives set forth by the European Commission.

1) Present Gasum in brief.

Gasum is a Nordic energy company. We offer cleaner energy and energy market services for businesses and cleaner fuel solutions for road and maritime transport. We help our customers reduce their own carbon footprint as well as that of their customers.

Our areas of expertise are natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), biomethane, liquefied biomethane and electricity markets. We own and operate 21 biomethane plants (17 our own plants and 4 partner plants) and an extensive network of gas filling stations in the Nordic countries.

Sustainability is central to our values and the core of our strategy. Our objective is to increase the availability of low-carbon energy products to our customers, advance the circular economy and at the same time, to minimize the environmental impact of our own operations.

Our goal is to bring 7 TWh of renewable gas annually to the market by 2027 – this means a fourfold increase in four years. When we reach this goal, we will achieve a cumulative annual carbon dioxide saving of 1.8 million tons for our customers.

2) How does Gasum’s biogas production and biogenic CO2 utilisation align with the EC 2040 Climate Target, and what specific strategies or technologies are you employing for CO2 capture and utilisation in your biogas production process?

Gasum welcomes the European Commission’s Communication on the 2040 Climate target as it builds a long-term view of the renewable energy market and creates more security for further development of the biomethane market. We are currently investing significantly in conventional biomethane production, including new plant projects and expansion of existing capacity, and a longer-term view is welcomed in that sense.

We have conducted studies on how to utilize the biogenic CO2 from biogas production in Power-to-Gas production. Even though this would make the renewable gas volumes about 1,5 times higher, often the volumes are just too low, or the plant does not have sufficient power supply to make it financially viable. We are now focusing on CCU and CCS of biogenic CO2 as it seems to be the most viable solution at this point.

3) RFNBOs and e-methane are becoming increasingly interesting and can diversify biomethane production pathways. How is Gasum featuring this in its portfolio?

Gasum is including into its European wide sourcing portfolio also e-methane, which will play out an important and increasingly larger part of the renewable gas portfolio. In January 2024, Gasum and the leading Nordic Power-to-Gas developer Nordic Ren-Gas signed an e-methane offtake agreement, which will initially bring annually some160 GWh of renewable e-methane to Gasum’s portfolio starting in 2026. Moreover, the volumes with additional Nordic Ren-Gas projects are planned to grow up to 800 GWh by 2028 and there will also be other potential suppliers to Gasum’s portfolio in several European locations.

4) You are planning to bring 7 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable gas per year to the market by 2027. How will you get there?

Gasum continuously upgrades and develops new biomethane production capacity throughout the Nordics. In addition to significant investments in our existing plants, we are developing five new biogas plants, each annually producing 133 GWh of liquefied biomethane. The projects in Götene and Borlänge are already in construction, whereas projects in Hörby, Sjöbo and Kalmar are progressing through their respective planning stages.

Collectively, our investments in the Nordics and sourcing renewable gas from our trusted partners will ensure that we will reach the annual 7 TWh target by 2027.

Sourcing of biomethane from various European countries also requires the transfer of Guarantees of Origins and Proofs of Sustainability between the national registries. This has proved quite complicated and sometimes it is unclear how that is to be done properly, especially when it comes to non-EU origin or liquefied gas. This needs to be improved and we are looking forward to the implementation of European wide Database for GoOs and PoSs. However, the target date for implementation in November 2024 seems to be unrealistic considering several unclarities in UDP. We strongly urge the EU Commission to speed up the process and engage stakeholders in the development process.