Helsinki’s Hanasaari coal plant to shut down by April 2023

Helen, Helsinki’s energy company, will de-commission its coal-powered combined heat and electricity plant in Hanasaari by 1 April 2023.

The decision will have a significant impact on the carbon footprint of the city and the country as a whole. The plant was initially supposed to be de-commissioned by the end of 2024.

Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori said: “Coal burning in Helsinki’s Hanasaari will end almost two years ahead of schedule, which will have significant positive climate effects. The Hanasaari power plant is Finland’s third largest source of industrial emissions and accounts for 2% of our country’s total emissions. The solution will reduce the city’s total emissions by about 20 percent”.

Juha-Pekka Weckström, CEO of Helen said: “Giving up the power plant ahead of the planned schedule is possible because we have worked hard and made significant investments in renewable and emission-free heat and electricity production in recent years”.

Helen has set itself the target of making its energy production carbon neutral by 2035.

The revised de-commissioning schedule will see the power plant be on reserve duty for the heating period of 2022–2023, until the commissioning of a bio-based heat plant under construction in Vuosaari, a north-eastern district of the Finnish capital, reports Helsinki Times.

Mayor Vapaavuori added: “Helen and the City of Helsinki have systematically developed new alternatives and techniques with which to replace the plant. The free zones will form a new center for the eastern city center in the future. The abandonment of power plant operations and the carbon stock will free up unique urban space and beach areas for services, activities and leisure opportunities for city dwellers. In the Hanasaari area, a great opportunity also lies in its close connection with the Suvilahti and Teurastamo areas, and in one area there is a huge potential to develop into a new concentration of urban cultural life”.

Photo credit Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva