In both cities we are also responsible for district heating production, distribution and sales as well as maintenance and operations of the network, serving in total some 90,000 end users in households, housing associations, businesses, offices, municipal institutions, state-owned and industrial premises. Additional to district heating production, we have brand-new district cooling production in Tartu downtown.
The business in Pärnu is 100% owned by Fortum, while we have a 60% stake of the business in Tartu. In each of the cities, we have a combined heat and power (CHP) plant that uses mainly local biofuels, such as woodchips and peat, for the production of energy. By using biofuels supplied locally – within 100 km of the plants – we support the local communities, their economies and employment, in addition to providing customers with efficient and environmentally friendly heating services at a competitive price.
We have 130 employees working in the production, distribution and selling of power and heat in Estonia. An additional 70 employees work for Fortum Business Services (FBS), located in Tallinn, providing accounting and taxation, payroll, travel and expense management and reporting solutions for Fortum's business units, corporate centre and subsidiaries.
Innovation is a mindset: The first district cooling solution in the Baltics
Fortum made history in the Baltics’ energy sector in May 2016 when the first district cooling plant and network were opened in downtown of Tartu, Estonia. At the moment this district cooling network is 1.6 kilometers long and the planned full capacity of the plant is 13 MW.
District cooling in Tartu downtown is produced in the most efficient and natural way. Water of the river Emajõgi is used for free cooling from October to April. In co-operation with SmartEnCity project solar panels were installed to produce electricity for the plant’s own energy needs. Inside the plant there is a heat pump which helps to transform water’s excess heat coming from district cooling customers to heat up water for district heating customers.
District cooling has several advantages for the customers. Once a property is connected to the district cooling network, there is no need for refrigeration equipment and additional cooling units on roof tops. This frees up large amounts of space and brings significant savings to property owners. District cooling is based on durable industrial refrigeration, making it efficient, reliable and environmentally sustainable – and it reduces CO2 emissions by 70% (6,000 tons/year) compared to other alternatives.