Finnish biogas statistics 2013-2014

Finnish biogas statistics 2013-2014

By Ari Lampinen, CBG100 Suomi, September 2014



New Finnish biogas statistics publication was released on 30 September 2014 by University of Eastern Finland covering transport sector until August 2014 and other biogas sectors until December 2013.


Biogas consumption in transport increased by 168 % but consumption for power and heat production decreased by 2 % in 2013 compared to previous year. It indicates that transport use dominates growth of biogas utilization in Finland. In 2014 upgrading capacity has almost tripled and many new filling stations have been taken online. There are plans for large increases in both upgrading capacity and filling station network within the next 2.5 years.


The new publication covers the entire era of traffic biogas utilization in Finland, from the beginning in 1941 until August 2014. For raw biogas production and its use in power and heat production the report contains data from 1994 until 2013. Biogas technology has been utilized commercially in Finland since 1910, but national statistics have only been collected since 1994. University of Eastern Finland is in charge of the study. This report is used by Statistics Finland in the official Finnish Energy Statistics and by Eurostat in the EU energy statistics.


1. Historical background of the statistics

Initiative for collection of national biogas statistics came in 1996 from the Finnish Biogas Association, the trade association of the Finnish biogas industry. It has resulted in a series of reports covering Finnish biogas production and use since 1994. Originally each report had 3-year coverage, but currently each focus on one year and include historical data since 1994.

The new report is 17th in the series. These studies, called Biogas Plant Registries, are funded by the Finnish biogas industry, University of Eastern Finland and the Finnish Environment Institute.

Utilization of biogas for transport and biogas upgrading were not originally included in the registries. The Finnish Biogas Association made in 2010 an initiative to extend the scope to traffic biogas. Starting from the 2011 publication, the 14th registry with year 2010 statistics, the registries have included a special section on traffic biogas. Unlike the rest of the registry, this section covers the whole Finnish traffic biogas history since it first started in 1941 and continues until the registry goes for print. In the case of the new 17th registry traffic biogas sector covers statistics from 1941 until the end of August in 2014. Finland was the third country in the world, after Germany and Sweden, to begin utilization of biogas in vehicles in 1941.

Commercial use of biogas technology began in 1910 in Finland, but historical time series before 1994 have not yet been produced except for the transport sector. Original research on the transport sector history was published in 2012 in Finnish. Main results of this was published in 2013 in English: Development of biogas technology systems for transport.


Finland was the second country in the world, after Sweden, to include consumption of biogas in transport sector in official national energy statistics in 2011 by Statistics Finland. And Finland was the second country, after Sweden, to have biogas included in the EU traffic biofuel barometer in 2011 by EurObserv'ER. In the latest barometer, published in July 2014, biogas data is still found only for 3 countries: Sweden, Finland and Germany (Germany for the first time). Other countries have continued combining biogas with natural gas in their transport energy statistics. This practise will change and other countries will follow Sweden, Finland and Germany. But until it happens, there are no complete European or even EU level statistics available for biogas use in transport.  


2. General statistics 2013

In 2013 raw biogas was produced at 82 plants, 3 more than in 2012: 40 were landfill gas plants and 42 reactor plants. Of reactor plants, 16 are connected with municipal sewage treatment plants and 3 with industrial sewage treatment plants, 12 are agricultural plants and 11 treat municipal solid biowastes. There were 5 upgrading plants.

Production of raw biogas was 154 million m3, which was 2 % more than in 2012.


Total biogas production in 2013 was 0.77 TWh. Of this, 404.4 GWh of heat and 151.3 GWh of electricity were produced, and 32.8 GWh was upgraded for vehicle use. Heat production decreased by 1 %, electricity production decreased by 5 % and biogas upgrading increased by 490 % compared to previous year. Of upgraded biogas, 10.8 GWh was consumed in vehicles, small amount was exported and the rest was stored for vehicle use in 2014. Upgraded biogas was not used for power and heat production. Vehicle use increased by 168 % compared to previous year. Biogas had 27 % share of methane consumption in transport (the rest was natural gas).

All upgraded biogas originated from biowastes: liquid biowastes had 74.6 % and solid biowastes 25.4 % share. Therefore, it is eligible for double counting according to the EU RES Directive. Taking it into account, vehicle consumption was 21.6 GWh. Almost all electricity and heat also originated from biowastes, but small amount of energy crops (1 %) was also used.


Since 1994, when collection of national biogas statistics began, biogas production has increased 6-fold and power and heat production has increased 5-fold. Unfortunately, amount of biogas wasted by flaring has also increased.

Since 2002, when traffic biogas production first restarted after 1946, consumption of biogas in transport has increased at a 180 % average annual rate. Within the last decade vehicle utilization has increased by 5400-fold.


3.  General situation in September 2014

There are now 87 plants in operation and further 31 plants are under construction or in planning stage, with environmental permit granted. New and planned plants are agricultural (15) or municipal solid waste (21) plants.

Of the five additional facilities, three include an upgrading plant and it is planned for one.


4. Transport sector in September 2014

The new report covers transport sector until August 2014. Since one additional public filling station was opened after that, here situation in September 2014 is described.


4.1. Upgrading

Biogas sold for transport originates from 9 domestic commercial upgrading plants, of which 4 were taken online in 2014. They are listed in the following table. Their locations are found in the   filling station map   by clicking "upgrading plants" option.


Into use Location Operator Technology Manufacturer Gas transport
2002 Farm scale biogas plant in Laukaa Kalmari farm Water scrubber Metener, Finland Local biogas pipe
2011 Biogas plant of Kymen Bioenergia at municipal sewage treatment plant of Kouvolan Vesi in Kouvola KSS Energia Water scrubber Greenlane, New Zealand Gas grid
2012 Educational biogas plant at Haapajärvi Vocational College (HAI) in Haapajärvi HAI/
Water scrubber Metaenergia, Finland Local biogas pipe
2012 Biogas plant of HSY at municipal sewage treatment plant in Espoo Gasum Water scrubber Malmberg, Sweden Gas grid
2013 Biogas plant of Envor Biotech in Forssa Envor Biotech Membrane Envor Biotech, Finland Local biogas pipe
2014 Biogas plant of Joutsan Ekokaasu in Joutsa Joutsan Ekokaasu Water scrubber Metener, Finland Local biogas pipe
2014 Biogas plant of Jeppo Biogas in Nykarleby Jeppo Biogas Water scrubber Malmberg, Sweden CBG container trucks and local biogas pipeline
2014 Biogas plant of Labio at PHJ waste management center in Lahti Gasum Water scrubber Malmberg, Sweden Gas grid
2014 Farm scale biogas plant in Laukaa Kalmari farm Water scrubber Metener, Finland Local biogas pipe


Biogas from 6 upgrading plants (Laukaa-1, Laukaa-2, Haapajärvi, Forssa, Joutsa and Nykarleby) is transported to filling stations by local biogas pipelines. In Nykarleby also truck transport by CBG containers is used. Biogas from 3 upgrading plants (Kouvola, Espoo and Lahti) and natural gas from Russian upgrading plants is transported to filling stations by national gas pipeline.

Current upgrading capacity is 2731 Nm3/h enabling annual production of over 100 GWh. Many new upgrading plants are planned. If all of them are realized, upgrading capacity will grow over 10-fold by 2017.


There are 3 upgrading plant manufacturers in Finland:

  • Metener, water scrubbers, since 2002
  • MetaEnergia, water scrubbers, since 2012
  • Envor Biotech, membrane separators, since 2013


4.2. Filling stations

There are 24 public biogas filling stations in operation. All are CBG100 stations, i.e. they sell 100 % compressed biogas (CBG). Blends of biogas and fossil methane, such as CBG20 and CBG50, are not available. Price of CBG100 in public stations varies between 1.205 and 1.505 euros/kg (0.80 - 1.00 euros/gasoline equivalent liter). All biogas sold for transport originates from biowaste.

Finland and Iceland are the only countries in the world, where CBG100 is available in all public biogas filling stations. In Finland, seven companies sell biogas in public filling stations:

  1. Metener (private company, 1 station, since 2002)
  2. Gasum (state company, 18 stations, since 2011)
  3. Haminan Energia (municipal company, 1 station, since 2013)
  4. Envor Biotech (private company, 1 station, since 2013)
  5. Joutsan Ekokaasu (private company, 1 station, since 2014)
  6. Jeppo Biogas (private company, 1 station, since 2014)
  7. Mäntsälän Sähkö (municipal company, 1 station, since 2014)

Photos of filling stations of each operator are shown below in the above order:

Six companies offer only CBG, but one (Gasum) also sells CNG (Compressed Natural Gas): choice of CBG or CNG is done at the pump. There is just one company selling only CNG (1 station), but they plan to switch to CBG. In total there are now 25 public CMG filling stations, of which 24 offer CBG100.

In addition, there are private, home and mobile filling stations. In private and mobile filling stations both CBG and LBG (Liquefied BioGas) are available.

Currently all renewable methane is domestic biogas and all fossil methane is Russian natural gas. Any other types of renewable methane (e.g. synthetic biogas SBG, solar methane and wind methane) or fossil methane (e.g. shale gas, methane chlatrates and synthetic natural gas SNG) are not available.

All biogas and natural gas sold for transport has been upgraded. Purified (but not upgraded) biogas and natural gas are not available. All natural gas sold for transport originates from upgrading plants in Russia.

There are plans for 20 more filling stations to be opened by the end of 2016.


Locations of current public CBG and CNG stations, private CBG stations and planned public and private CBG stations are found in the map of filling stations (which also includes upgrading plants).


4.3. Vehicles

There are about 1800 CMG (Compressed Methane Gas) and 3 LMG (Liquefied Methane Gas) vehicles in operation. Most CMG vehicles are cars and vans, but also about 100 CMG trucks, buses and mobile working engines are in use. Of the LMG vehicles 2 are ships and 1 is a truck. Exact amount of vehicles is not available because in national vehicle registry significant part of methane vehicles are classified as gasoline or diesel vehicles.


Methane vehicles are factory manufactured by 4 companies in Finland, based on domestic dualfuel diesel engines:

  • Valtra (Agco): dualfuel CMG agricultural tractors, since 2011 (prototype in 2009)
  • Turku shipyard (STX): dualfuel LMG ships, since 2012 (earlier history: steam turbine LNG ships in 1993-1997)
  • Rauma shipyard (Rauma): dualfuel  LMG ships, since 2014
  • Helsinki shipyard (Arctech): dualfuel LMG ships, first ship is under construction (will be launched in 2015)

Earlier (since 2006) CNG snowmobiles were factory manufactured in Finland by BRP-Finland (imported otto engine).


Methane engines (dualfuel diesel) for vehicle use are manufactured in Finland by:

  • Agco: used in Valtra tractors, also suitable for trucks, buses and boats
  • Wärtsilä: used in ships, also suitable for locomotives and very large trucks


Wärtsilä also manufactures LBG plants.


Original publication of the traffic biogas statistics (in Finnish):

Lampinen Ari (2014) Liikennebiokaasu Suomessa 1941-2014. Teoksessa: Huttunen MJ & Kuittinen V: Suomen biokaasulaitosrekisteri n:o 17 – Tiedot vuodelta 2013. Publications of the University of Eastern Finland, Reports and Studies in Forestry and Natural Sciences No 19, School of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science and Forestry, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, 12-26.