The Lahti plant will convert municipal waste into heat and power through the large-scale use of a novel method involving waste gasification, gas cleaning and high-efficiency combustion.

At a ground-breaking ceremony led by Minister of Economic Affairs Mauri Pekkarinen, the city of Lahti’s combined heat and power plant project was launched today. The European Investment Bank is the largest provider of financing for the facility with a EUR 75m loan, also signed today.

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The Lahti plant will convert municipal waste into heat and power through the large-scale use of a novel method involving waste gasification, gas cleaning and high-efficiency combustion. With a capacity of 250 000 tons of waste per year and generating 90 MW heat and 50 MW electricity, the project will partially replace a coal-fired plant and sharply reduce landfill disposal in the region.

The project supports European Union objectives in environmental and energy technology as well as in research and development. Lahti Energia Oy will own and operate the plant. Financing in addition to that from the EIB will be provided by the Nordic Investment Bank, Lahti Energia’s own funds and a grant from the Finnish Government.

“For a number of years, Finland has been one of the world leaders in combined heat and power technology and its use for large-scale district heating and electricity generation. We welcome this opportunity to participate in such a promising project in Lahti, which is located in one of the country’s most dynamic regions,” said Eva Srejber, EIB Vice-President with special responsibility for financing operations in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the EFTA countries, the EU’s eastern neighbours and Central Asia

Background:

The mission of the EIB, the European Union’s bank, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the EU Member States by financing sound investments. The EIB raises substantial volumes of funds on the capital markets, which it lends on favourable terms for projects that further EU policy objectives. The EIB operates on a non-profit-maximising basis and lends at close to its cost of borrowing. The Bank’s consistent AAA rating is underpinned by firm shareholder support, a strong capital base, exceptional asset quality, conservative risk management and a sound funding strategy.

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