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Pyhäjärvi biogas plant starts up – a sense of celebration at the grand opening ceremony

opening ceremony of the biogas plant
Kalevi Lehtomäki, Mika Arffman, Ilpo Korhola, Minister Sari Essayah, Irja Lehtinen, Harri Lehto and Ari Varis at the opening ceremony of the biogas plant.

Together with farms in the Pyhäjärvi area, the City of Pyhäjärvi has been launching a planning path for a biogas production plant and filling station, which brought together farmers in the area in the Pyhäjärvi Bioenergy project in 2016–2017. The project leader was Veli-Tapio Manninen , and he played a significant role in this project, which started from the grassroots level.

 

"We were enthusiastic, but we didn't know anything about gas," says Ari Varis, the project's chairman of the board and chairman of the board of Pyhäjärven Biogas Oy, commenting on the initial situation.

 

As a result of the project, it was seen that there is a place for biogas production in the Pyhäjärvi area due to the municipality's activity, enthusiastic entrepreneurs, availability of feedstocks and good traffic location, among other things.


Pyhäjärven Biogas Oy invests in a refueling station

 

After the project, the planning was continued by the farmers, who established Pyhäjärven Biogas Oy in 2020. Envitecpolis Oy assisted the newly established project company in applying for 40 per cent infrastructure support from the Energy Authority for the gas filling station investment. The support was granted in full, and the Board of Directors of Pyhäjärven Biogas Oy held a press conference on the decision to invest in the refueling station at Pyhäjärvi City Hall on 16.3.2022. Read more about this >>>

 

The refueling station was built during summer and autumn 2022 and it was inaugurated on 3.10.2022. Speakers at the event included former Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, representatives of the municipality and, of course, Ari Varis, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pyhäjärven Biogas Oy.


Board of Directors of Pyhäjärven Biogas Oy

Toni Taavitsainen from Envitecpolis congratulates the Board of Directors of Pyhäjärven Biogas Oy in autumn 2023: Secretary Irja Lehtinen (yellow jacket), Kalevi Lehtomäki, Ilpo Korhola, Harri Lehto, Chairman Ari Varis will receive a sledgehammer as a gift from Mikko Jauhiainen.








Design and construction of the production plant - Envitecpolis assisted in licensing.

 

After the commissioning of the gas filling station, detailed investment planning and financing negotiations for the biogas production plant began. Envitecpolis Oy assisted Pyhäjärven Biogas Oy in applying for an environmental permit for Metener Oy's batch-operated dry digestion plant processing feedstocks under 20,000 t/year and prepared the necessary calculations for financing negotiations.

 

This was followed by applying for a 50 per cent investment grant from the Centre for Economic Development (ELY), Transport and the Environment for North Ostrobothnia together with a team formed during autumn 2022. The support was granted to the project in full. The decision to invest in the production plant was made by the Board of Directors of Pyhäjärven Biogas Oy in early spring 2023, and construction began with earthworks the same summer.

 

"The schedules for the refueling station went according to plan, but there were some delays in the construction of the production plant and we are about six months behind schedule. Of course, the harsh winter slowed down construction, and new technology is also being used at the production plant. Only one plant has been built with a similar arched hall structure before in Finland, comments Ari Varis.

 

"It has been great to walk alongside our customer from the beginning of the process to this point. A lot of thoughts and feelings have been discussed together along the way. However, these entrepreneurs have had enough faith and courage to take their thoughts to the finish line. I highly appreciate this kind of entrepreneurship, emphasizes Henri Karjalainen, our Chief Specialist who acted as Project Manager at Envitecpolis Oy .


Opening of the Pyhäjärvi biogas plant 11.5.2024

 

Today we celebrate the significant achievement of our joint journey, as farms in Pyhäjärvi have been able to concretize their plans for a functional production facility.



Consecration of the plant and ribbon cutting. From left to right: Mayor of Pyhäjärvi Henrik Kiviniemi, Regional Director of Northern Ostrobothnia Jussi Rämet, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sari Essayah and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pyhäjärvi Biogas Ltd Ari Varis. Kalevi Lehtomäki holds the ribbon on the left and Harri Lehto on the right.


"This is a unique biogas plant complex in Finland. First, the investments have been made by local farmers, who started building markets for transport biogas (biomethane) by first investing in their own gas filling station near the Vaskikello intersection. Since the market has been built, the natural continuation has been to invest in our own gas production plant, which mainly utilizes grass, which is abundantly available in the area, comments Toni Taavitsainen, Chairman of the Board, Envitecpolis Oy.

 

Envitecpolis Oy's employees are located all over Finland and often commute by gas car.

 

-The Pyhäjärvi filling station is excellently located and easily accessible. From now on, it is great to be able to fill up with genuine biogas produced locally by our own customer from Pyhäjärvi, Henri Karjalainen concludes.


The Pyhäjärvi biogas plant is unique in Finland. Photo by: Saara Liedespuu / AGRImedia.


Significant novelty value at the Pyhäjärvi plant


The Pyhäjärvi plant is a unique investment target, as farm entrepreneurs in the area are implementing this investment. Batch-operated dry digestion plants specialise in treating very dry bait oases (grass, straw, dry manure), and the implementation of such plants is still limited in Finland. The plant type is particularly well suited for Pyhäjärvi, as the number of livestock farms in the area has decreased significantly over the past decade. There are no longer significant amounts of slurry available in the area, but even more field biomass that does not compete directly with food production.


In terms of the novelty value of the site, the arched hall roofs built on top of batch-operated dry digestion reactors as weather protection are also significant, which significantly facilitate the operation of the plant regardless of the season. The plant, built using the arched hall model, also enables testing a new percolation fluid irrigation system inside the reactors.


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