News / 18.11.2020

Energy Genius of the Year award: waste heat from Paulig’s coffee roastery utilised as district heat

In a unique pilot project of Helen and Paulig, the waste heat of Paulig’s coffee roastery is recovered and utilised in the heating of homes in Helsinki. Today, the project was presented with the Energy Genius of the Year award, which is granted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Energy Authority, and the state-owned sustainable development company Motiva.

Jouni Kivirinne and Timo Tuukkanen. Photo: Sam Weckman 

At the Paulig coffee roasting plant in Vuosaari, a new technical solution enables recovery of waste heat in quantities sufficient to cover the annual heat demand of 1,000 one-bedroom apartments. With the solution, Paulig significantly improves the energy efficiency of the coffee roasting lines at the Vuosaari roastery. With the heat recovery system, any waste heat that is surplus to the roastery’s own requirements can be recycled in Helen’s district heating network.

“We found a common interest with Paulig in the field of sustainability. Helen’s open district heat concept provided a simple model for this significant energy-efficiency measure: we can recover and recycle waste heat with the aid of our extensive city-wide heating network,” says Helen’s Business Development Manager Jouni Kivirinne.

In open district heat, a business or property can buy district heat and sell the heat they have produced to an energy company. Helen buys industrial process heat that is suitable for use in the district heating network and utilises it in the heating of Helsinki.

“The solution at the coffee roastery is significant because the amount of waste heat recovered is quite high. Sustainability is one of the cornerstones of our business operations, and I am proud that we came up with the idea of heat recovery at the Vuosaari roastery. Together with Helen we have built the technical solution over the past year, and it will be completed by the end of the year,” says Timo Tuukkanen, Facility & Security Manager at Paulig.

Waste heat plays an important role on the way to carbon neutrality

Helen aims for a carbon-neutral energy system in 2035. Utilisation of waste heat plays a major role on Helen’s road towards carbon-neutral production. Helen is currently investigating, e.g. the possibilities of utilising waste heat from the process industry in the Kilpilahti area in the heating of the Helsinki region, as well as the utilisation of other regional waste heat and environmental heat. Almost 10 per cent of district heat in Helsinki is already produced by utilising the heat of purified waste water and with district cooling. In the Esplanade and Katri Vala heating and cooling plants, Helen recycles and processes the waste heat of its customers back into circulation.

Helen wants to increase efficient recycling of energy and expand it further, and to purchase excess heat from operators who use district heat, such as production plants, properties, businesses, and residential buildings. By utilising excess heat, the use of other energy sources can be reduced.

“In addition to the climate, this project for the recovery of waste heat will benefit Paulig, Helen and the customers alike. By joining forces to mitigate climate change, we will gain the best solutions and achieve our carbon neutrality target,” says Kivirinne.

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