District heating is now produced in Kälviä as a service

District heating is now produced in Kälviä as a service – “This is a service model we wish to offer to utilities and industrial operators”

Varmalämmitys Oy has commissioned its first district heating plant in Kälviä, Western Finland. The bio heating plant was delivered to the local utility, Kokkolan Energia Oy, utilising a new Heat as a Service model. Varmalämmitys Oy is a joint venture between KPA Unicon, a Finnish supplier of clean energy solutions and Infranode, a local long-term infrastructure investor.

Varmalämmitys’s Heat as a Service -concept, developed by KPA Unicon and Infranode, is a new service model in the energy sector. Tightening environmental regulations and emission targets increase the need to renew heat and steam production assets at the same time as municipal stakeholders have an increased need to carefully consider where to allocate resources. The Heat as a Service -concept enables municipal owned utilities and industrial operators to invest in energy production capacity in a way that does not commit their own capital or require additional debt financing.

“With Varmalämmitys’s service, we aim to accelerate investments into sustainable heat and steam production assets by offering an alternative to traditional balance sheet financing and facilitate the shift to greener production assets. Varmalämmitys is a local company whose plants are manufactured in Finland utilising Finnish technology. Climate-friendliness is at the core of the design”, explains Laura Männistö, Manager Finance at KPA Unicon.

In accordance with the new service model, Varmalämmitys Oy supplies heat energy as a service to Kokkolan Energia and is responsible for the costs and operation of the heating plant throughout the plant’s life cycle. The duration of the contract is 25 years. Kokkolan Energia sells and distributes the heat to its end-users.

“The new heating plant was needed to replace the old one, which had reached the end of its life cycle. We wanted to continue our district heating business in Kälviä and to achieve this, we chose a partner instead of an investment. The service model enables the provision of district heating in Kälviä with biofuel and at a predictable cost without committing capital to a long-term project”, says Mikko Rintamäki, the CEO of Kokkolan Energia.

“We are very pleased that Kokkolan Energia chose us as their long-term partner. The service model offered by Varmalämmitys provides a cost-effective, flexible and, above all, environmentally friendly way for heat production in Kälviä for a long time in the future”, says Aleksi Graan, Infranode’s Country Lead in Finland and the Chair of the Board of Directors of Varmalämmitys.

“It has been great to be part of implementing clean technology solutions in Kälviä and our experiences from this first project have been very good. This is a service model we wish to offer in the future to other energy companies and industrial operators alike”, Männistö summarises.

The new Unicon Regenerate bio heating plant delivered to Kälviä uses forest industry by-products from the area’s nearby sawmills as a fuel. The fabric filter of the heating plant significantly reduces particulate emissions. This solution already prepares for the stricter emission targets in 2030.

Additional information

Laura Männistö
Manager Finance, KPA Unicon
tel. +358 40 670 1914

Aleksi Graan
Director and Country Lead Finland, Infranode
tel. +358 40 511 5473