Helsingin Energia is planning to increase the use of biofuels in its energy production as part of its development programme Towards a carbon neutral future. According to the environmental impact statement made available in the public domain today, the plans are feasible in terms of their environmental impacts.
The environmental impact statement shows that both the new multifuel power plant being designed for Vuosaari and the plan to increase the share of pellets to 40 per cent at the coal-fired Hanasaari and Salmisaari power plants are feasible from the point of view of the environment. The same applies to the situation assessed as a reference alternative, in which the Hanasaari and Salmisaari power plants would use pellets with a share of 5 - 10 per cent of the fuels, and take the measures required by the Industrial Emissions Directive regulating industrial emissions.
According to the environmental impact statement, all project alternatives have environmental impacts. The environmental impacts of the alternatives differ from each other in several respects. All alternatives require that the methods to be used to abate harmful impacts should be planned and deployed in a more detailed manner than before.
The environmental impact statement takes the view that the environmental impacts will be at their biggest, if the coal storage facilities of the new Vuosaari power plant are positioned on the north-eastern side of the railway. An increase in the use of biofuels at the Hanasaari power plant would have a fairly significant impact on the implementation of the residential and workplace area envisaged for the southern end of the Hanasaari island. The present and future operation of the Hanasaari power plant will also significantly influence the feasibility of the Kruununvuori bridge between Kruununhaka and Sompasaari.
Feedback and public meeting
Comments on the environmental impact statement can be sent to the Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment that will function as the liaison authority during the next two months. The liaison authority will take the opinions into account when submitting its own report on the environmental impact statement. A public meeting related to the theme will be arranged in the auditorium of the Helsinki City Planning Department, address Kansakoulunkatu 3, Helsinki. You can read the environmental impact statement online: http://www.ymparisto.fi/helenbioYVA
Decision to be made on the direction of the development programme in 2015
Next year, the City Council will decide, how energy production will be developed in Helsinki. The environmental impact assessments of the different alternatives will provide information on which decision-making can be based.