The Raahen plant of SSAB ranks as the top emitter in Finland once more

In 2023, Finnish plants participating in the EU emissions trading system generated a total of 15.4 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, down from 19.0 million tons the previous year. Despite this decrease, SSAB’s Raahen steel plant remained the largest producer of emissions among all participating plants in Finland, with an increase in emissions to 3.7 million tons last year, up from 3.6 million the previous year.

Neste’s Porvoon oil refinery and Helen’s Salmisaaren coal-fired power plant also remained among the top three emitters for several years. However, Neste has announced plans to stop oil refining at the Porvoon refinery by the mid-2030s and focus on producing low-carbon fuels and circular economy products instead.

SSAB aims to transition its steel production in Raahe and Luleå, Sweden to be largely fossil-free by 2040, with an investment of around 4.5 million euros expected in Lulea. While this decision aligns with SSAB’s goal to reduce its carbon footprint, it has been a disappointment for Finland economically as it may mean that emissions from the Raahen factory will not decrease significantly in the near future.

Helen had its coal phase-out schedule extended due to supply concerns caused by an energy crisis, but has since announced plans to shut down Salmisaaren power plant entirely by 2035. The Energy Agency reported that natural gas consumption increased while peat and coal consumption decreased last year, with renewable fuel consumption remaining stable from the previous year. Weather-related fluctuations in energy demand and production influence emission trends; total energy consumption remained constant with increased nuclear power production and decreased net electricity imports.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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