Food manufacturer Herkkumaa Oy became the first company to transition to emission-free production using Elstor technology.
06.06.2022 13:00 | Herkkumaa Oy
Herkkumaa is the first company in the world to adopt a 10 MWh energy storage unit developed by Elstor Oy. This enables steam production without CO₂ emissions. Herkkumaa has made investments to reduce its environmental footprint, and now they use a fossil-free heat storage solution in steam production. The solution is emission-free, cost-effective, and carbon-neutral. This innovative project has received support from Business Finland.
The new technology means a carbon-neutral production process and emissions-free water circulation heating system spanning thousands of square meters in the facility.
Image: Herkkumaa, Elstor
Herkkumaa decided to replace its current system, which consumes approximately 264,000 liters of light fuel oil per year (2021), with a heat storage solution developed by Elstor Oy, due to their commitment to responsible production and sustainable business prospects. This initiative is a significant continuation of the energy recovery system for process water implemented in 2021. Steam plays a crucial role in food production, as the entire process relies on steam for tasks requiring high temperatures such as heating boilers, thermal processing, and sterilization.
With the new Elstor system, fossil fuels are replaced with carbon-neutral electricity, and the energy is stored in a thermal battery. This ensures emission-free processes and theoretically reduces Herkkumaa’s production carbon footprint to zero. Cost-effectiveness is supported by charging the heat storage unit during periods of lower electricity prices throughout the day, as well as its excellent suitability for frequency regulation reserve markets in the power grid. The predictability achieved with this solution also facilitates pricing, ultimately benefiting consumers. The significant increase in oil prices has affected the food industry. Abandoning fossil fuels is not only an ecological choice but also a cost issue.
“The fluctuation in fossil fuel prices has made predicting production costs challenging. Transitioning production to fossil-free energy sources reduces price volatility and eases pricing, directly impacting consumers’ wallets. The future-oriented solution is designed to ensure that availability and pricing of raw materials will not be a problem,” says Atte Rekola, CEO of Herkkumaa.
“The 10 MWh thermal storage system we have implemented annually reduces CO₂ emissions equivalent to the emissions generated by approximately 700 cars when replacing fossil fuels in steam production,” says Kari Suninen, CEO of Elstor. “The CO₂ emissions generated during the manufacturing of the Elstor device are offset in about 6 months of use. It is great that Herkkumaa takes a comprehensive view of the future, invests boldly in our collaboration, and commits to the green transition and competitiveness,” Suninen continues.
Both consumers and corporate customers are interested in reducing emissions and sustainable development. Having a small carbon footprint serves as a selling point in export markets.
For more information:
Atte Rekola, CEO
+358 40 0902590
Kari Suninen, CEO
+358 40 5583706
Additional information about the companies:
Herkkumaa’s modern food factory in Hämeenlinna is one of the leading canned food manufacturers in Finland. Millions of kilograms of high-quality raw materials ripen on selected contract farmers’ fields and are transformed into delicious preserves in the hands of skilled food industry professionals. In addition to vegetable preserves, the factory produces delicious jams, marmalades, condiments, and mayonnaises. The products preserve the Finnish summer and the pure flavors of nature, respecting Finnish traditions and taste preferences.
Based in Lappeenranta, Elstor’s goal is to transform steam and heat production into a carbon-free and sustainable process. Elstor’s patented solution in the EU, USA, India, and China brings significant cost savings while eliminating CO₂ emissions. One Elstor basic unit with a capacity of 5 MWh saves approximately 480 tons of carbon dioxide annually.