News / 12.4.2022

Helen to break away from Russian fuels

Helen will break away from Russian fuels as a result of the war in Ukraine. In early March, we made the decision to procure coal from elsewhere than Russia until further notice. 

Due to the effective procurement contracts, Helen has received two coal vessels after the decision. The EU member states have now approved new import sanctions on Russian coal. This import ban on coal imposed by the EU entered into force on 9 April 2022, but it will not be applied to contracts signed before 9 April 2022 until from 10 August 2022. It is unfortunate that the import ban on coal will not be applied until from August. We would have hoped that the sanctions would enter into force in full with immediate effect for them have an impact on Helen’s effective contracts. The majority of our contracts will expire during late spring. Helen endorses the sanctions, and as a company we comply with the EU’s effective sanctions in relation to the war in Ukraine.

We have made an effort to take a firmer line in relation to Russian fuels on our own initiative and on a voluntary basis. In addition to ending the procurement of Russian coal, our wholesale contract on Russian natural gas has expired. In late spring, gas will be procured from the Baltic via Baltic Connector and it will be LNG-based. We do not procure our biomass from Russia. Our pellets are sourced from Finland and Estonia, and procurement is being expanded to other western countries. We source wood chips from Finland and are planning to expand the procurement to Estonia and the Baltic at a later date. In terms of oil, we have a contract with a Finnish supplier.

The global situation has underlined the importance of energy self-sufficiency. In accordance with our strategy, we will continue the transition to a distributed energy system even more closely than before. In a distributed energy system, energy is produced, recovered and stored in several locations in an emission-free, renewable and secure way. At the end of last year, we announced that we will phase out the use of coal five years ahead of schedule in early April 2024 at the latest. We have moved towards a distributed energy system for a number of years, and we have made strong investments in renewable and emission-free energy production. We have also considerably increased our wind power production. The seventh heat pump in the Katri Vala heating and cooling plant is close to completion. Our seawater heat pump project is making progress, and we are building an energy platform of the future by developing digital modelling from the district heating network for optimising heat production and ensuring heat supplies to all customers when production in our large plants ceases.

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