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Borealis to cut emissions at Finnish facility through £15m energy efficiency upgrade

Chemicals giant Borealis has unveiled a new €17.6m (£15.1m) investment into regenerative thermal technology that will reduce facility emissions from heating while also saving around 60GWh of energy annually.

The technology will remove up to 18,000 tonnes of carbon emissions once it is completed in 2023. Copyright: Borealis

The technology will remove up to 18,000 tonnes of carbon emissions once it is completed in 2023. Copyright: Borealis

The investment will see Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) technology installed at its polyolefins plants in Porvoo, Finland. The technology treats air pollution and exhaust emissions in a move that will replace around 50% of the energy required to heat the facility’s operations.

The technology will remove up to 18,000 tonnes of carbon emissions once it is completed in 2023. Projected annual energy savings are approximately 60 GWh and it will be combined with two long-term purchase power agreements (PPAs) to source energy generated from Finnish wind farms.

The PPA’s will see the facility source 13% renewable electricity, with Borealis trying to reach 50% across all its Hydrocarbon & Energy and Polyolefins operations by 2030.

“The varied measures being implemented at our Porvoo production location to help combat climate change are exemplary for the entire Group,” Borealis’s executive vice president for base chemicals and operations Martijn van Koten said.

“Part of our commitment to bringing about a carbon-neutral future means re-inventing for more sustainable living. We will continue to find innovative ways to protect the climate by reducing our own environmental footprint.”  

Energy legacy

In 2018, Borealis set the aim of reducing its carbon footprint by 360,000 tonnes of CO2e each year after achieving ISO 50001 certification.

The firm – Europe’s second-largest producer of polyethylene and polypropylene – reached the certification for energy management through a four-year partnership with risk management firm DNV GL that saw the two companies collaboratively develop and install a new energy management system at eight of Borealis’ key locations. The installation of the new system will help reduce Borealis’ carbon footprint by as much as taking 80,000 petrol cars off the road (360,000 metric tons of CO2 annually) – and has also seen the chemical corporation set a new energy efficiency target of using 10% less energy in 2020 than it did in 2015.  

More recently, Borealis became a Core Partner to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy. The company now works directly with the Foundation to develop and upscale innovative products and services that eliminate unnecessary plastics and ensure that plastics that are used are reusable, recyclable, or compostable.


Register for edie’s online masterclass on energy efficiency 

On 10 March at 1pm GMT, edie is hosting a 45-minute masterclass on energy efficiency in association with the Carbon Trust and BEIS. Expert speakers from both organisations will be presenting alongside BAM Nuttall’s carbon reduction lead Sarah Joliffe. 

This free virtual event will break down how technological innovations can be utilised to enhance your organisation’s energy efficiency approach and decarbonise industrial processes, through presentations and an interactive Q&A. 

Find out more and register here. 


Matt Mace

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