Editorial / 18 Sep 2022

Keeping Finland Fueled

Finland has already taken crucial steps towards becoming a green leader. It is a co-founder of the Powering Past Coal Alliance and has developed or is developing several notable infrastructure projects to provide clean fuel sources to its shores, including a national hydrogen network and offshore wind farms.

Most importantly, Finland will ban coal imports by the end of 2029.

This means the country’s coal power plants will either be shut down or transition to run on more sustainable fuel sources.

Fueling Helsinki
Leading the charge is HELEN, the energy utility owned by the City of Helsinki that provides power needs to more than 550,000 people in Finland.

The company announced it will speed up its energy transition by decommissioning its coal-fired energy plant in Hanasaari by April 2023 and Salmisaari by April 2024, the latter of which will be converted to run on biofuels and wood pellets.

GAC Finland is the leading ship agent for Helsinki’s municipal coal power plants and has therefore played a vital role in the city’s transition to cleaner fuel.

ESL shipping Viikki panorama3f
Photo courtesy of ESL Shipping

Salmisaari has also been upgraded to run on wood pellets so GAC Finland is already well-placed to keep cargo deliveries moving.

HELEN aims to be completely carbon neutral by 2030 so these new infrastructure projects are vital to the company’s long-term sustainability goals.

Short-term challenges
In the short term, however, Finland has not escaped the ongoing energy crisis that is plaguing the rest of Europe.

In a bid to stave off potential winter blackouts, Finland has temporarily increased its coal imports, which has resulted in leading dry bulk carrier ESL Shipping boosting its services to the country.

As the handling agency for major cargo carried by ESL Shipping, GAC Finland has stepped up to this challenge by applying its experience and adaptability to ensure the increased cargoes are handled at port effectively and with no resulting impacts down the supply chain.

“Everyone in Finland is preparing for a potential power shortage this winter. At GAC we ensure that we are always available to take on any vessel and its cargo to keep fuel supplies moving and mitigate any issues for our customers,” said Svante Eriksson, Managing Director of GAC Finland.

Svante 1
GAC Finland's Svante Eriksson

Balancing act
Finland now faces the challenge of meeting its energy requirements while maintaining its strong stance on sustainability.

Following a 13-year delay, the country’s much delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor is scheduled to be in full production by the end of the year, providing about 15% of the country’s total energy needs.

GAC is ready to play its part and assist the country with both its short- and long-term fuel requirements. Be it coal in the short-term or hydrogen in the future, GAC has the capability to handle a variety of cargo in the energy sector and become a world-leading ship agent for Europe’s major players.

Alppila Helsinki 2019 09 14 00025
Photo courtesy of ESL Shipping

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