Helen and Paulig will launch a waste heat recovery pilot at Paulig’s coffee roastery in Vuosaari. A new technical solution can be used to recover waste heat in quantities enough to cover the annual heat demand of 1,000 two-room apartments. This recycling of waste heat generated by the food industry production processes to the district heating network is unique in the Helsinki region.

Paulig significantly enhances the energy efficiency of the Vuosaari roastery’s coffee roasting lines with this solution. At the same time, a heat recovery system will be built in the roastery. This system is used to recycle excess waste heat to Helen’s heating network. The two-way district heating markets or open district heating means that the company or property can both buy district heat as well as sell heat generated by it to the energy company. Helen buys industrial process heat that is suitable for the district heating network and uses it to heat Helsinki.

“Heat is recovered from the roasting process in which most of the heat is generated. We primarily utilise the recovered heat for our own heating. Excess heat will be directed to Helen’s district heating network. We came up with this idea of heat recovery at the Vuosaari roastery after a joint energy efficiency survey. This is part of our sustainability operations. Once we found a suitable partner, the decision to launch the project was easy to make,” says Timo Tuukkanen, Facility & Security Manager at Paulig.

Coffee roasting generates enough waste heat to cover the annual heat demand of 1,000 two-room apartments. The new heat recovery system will be deployed at the beginning of next year.

“The significance of recycled heat will continue to increase in the future. It makes no sense to waste heat if it can be reused. Helen aims to create a carbon-neutral energy system, and heat recycling is one of the many means of achieving this carbon neutrality. This joint project of Paulig and Helen is an excellent example of a jointly implemented energy efficiency measure that generates savings for both parties and reduces emissions,” says Jouni Kivirinne, Manager, Business and Market Development at Helen.

Paulig pays it forward and donates the savings of EUR 10,000 generated by waste heat utilisation to support the operations of the SOS Children’s Village in Finland. Paulig is one of the main partners of the SOS Children’s Village.

“Now heat is definitely not wasted, since we use Paulig’s support to strengthen our SOS Family activities. Thousands of children are on our SOS family waiting lists, and there is a significant shortage of SOS families. We are glad that Paulig’s warm approach to our work in the SOS Children’s Village was concretised by this magnificent surprise,” says Annemi Usva-Vänttinen, Corporate Partnerships Manager at SOS Children’s Village.

New opportunities to recycle energy

All energy use at Paulig’s Vuosaari roastery is based on renewable energy sources. Paulig roasts all of its coffee in Finland using biogas, and the Vuosaari roastery has used biogas since August 2015. Paulig has been buying renewable district heat for space heating even before this project.

“We have a long-term commitment to sustainability and we are putting great emphasis especially on the energy efficiency and renewable energy in our operations. By starting to roast our coffee with biogas in Vuosaari four years ago, we managed to reduce up to 90% of our annual greenhouse gas emissions, which equals to nearly 2,700 tonnes. Today, our spice and tortilla factories in Sweden, in addition to the coffee roasteries in Finland, are running on biogas,” says Jorma Varis, director in charge of Paulig’s coffee roasteries.

It is possible to further optimise the heat recovery process by using heat pumps.

“Possible energy tax reform concerning energy taxes on heat pumps generating heat to district heating networks proposed by the Finnish Government would open new possibilities to recycle energy from data centres and industrial processes,” says Marko Riipinen, SVP, Sales and Customer Service at Helen.

“Helen actively searches for excess heat in the Helsinki region. In the future, an increasingly significant part of the city heating will be based on recycled heat. On a warm summer day, approximately half of the heating demand in Helsinki is already covered with different recycled heat,” says Riipinen.

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