There are already plans for 13 carbon capture projects across the country. The significance of infrastructure is particularly highlighted in those projects where carbon dioxide cannot be utilized or stored in the immediate proximity of the facility. A study commissioned by the Bioenergy Association of Finland assesses the needs and costs for logistics and infrastructure for CO2 in the Finnish context. 

Carbon capture, utilisation, and storage technologies are key cornerstones enabling the EU’s climate goals. Finland has excellent opportunities to capture biogenic carbon dioxide from the forest industry, other biorefineries and energy production facilities. Approximately 28 million tons of biogenic carbon dioxide are generated annually from large point sources. This amount is slightly less than the total fossil emissions from the Finnish energy sector in 2022. Long-term storage of biogenic carbon dioxide enables facilities to achieve negative emissions, permanently removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but requires incentives.  

– In these planned projects, carbon dioxide is primarily used to produce synthetic fuels, which can replace fossil fuels in transportation and industry. The amount of carbon dioxide planned to be captured in these projects all together is only in the range of 1-1.5 million tons, so there is plenty of additional potential for different solutions, according to Harri Laurikka, Managing Director of the Bioenergy Association. 

In the majority of the planned projects, carbon dioxide is utilised near the capture facility. However, this is not possible in all cases, and the captured carbon dioxide needs to be transported elsewhere for use or storage. In such cases, well-designed infrastructure is crucial for investment decisions and the development of the entire industrial ecosystem. CO2-infrastructure includes the necessary intermediate storage facilities inland and, on the coast, as well as the transportation via pipeline, rail, or trucks. 

The Bioenergy Association of Finland has commissioned a study from VTT on the infrastructure and logistics required for carbon dioxide utilisation and storage pathways. The study will be conducted during the spring and summer of 2024. The study is funded by Gasgrid Vetyverkot (Hydrogen Grids), Finnsementti, Fortum Power and Heat, Helen, Keravan Energia, Oulun Energia, Tampereen Energia, Vantaan Energia, and Sumitomo Corporation Europe Ltd. 

– As Finland is currently considering how to promote CCUS-projects nationally with limited resources, investment in infrastructure is one potential option. Synergies between the hydrogen economy and carbon dioxide solutions should be considered. Finland and the other Nordic countries must also ensure that EU plans for CO2 infrastructure take into account the opportunities and needs provided by biogenic carbon dioxide, emphasizes Erika Laajalahti, Sector Manager in Carbon removal and CCUS at the Bioenergy Association. 

In Finland, it is important to identify potential regional hubs formed based on nearby carbon dioxide sources and utilisation sites, such as planned hydrogen valleys. In these hubs, different stakeholders can share transportation infrastructure, carbon dioxide terminals, and intermediate storage, thereby reducing costs for individual projects. At the same time, it enables the aggregation of sufficiently large amounts of carbon dioxide, for example, for transportation abroad for permanent storage, and shares risks. 

The European Commission has also identified transportation infrastructure as a key component enabling the utilization and storage value chains of carbon dioxide. The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) published a report in February 2024 on the development of carbon dioxide transport infrastructure in the coming decades. In the scenarios for transportation networks, Finland is not included in the outlines even by 2050 despite the lively activity on the ground. It must be ensured that EU plans also take into account the superb opportunities provided by biogenic carbon dioxide and the needs of the sector. 

Further information:
Erika Laajalahti, Sector Manager, carbon removal & CCUS, 044 753 0700,
Harri Laurikka, Managing Director, 040 1630465,