Fortum and coal

Fortum’s power generation is mainly based on natural gas-fired generation, and carbon dioxide-free hydro and nuclear power. Fortum targets to reduce the share of coal in power generation rapidly.

Zabrze

The use of coal in energy production needs to be discontinued and we are working towards that. And in places where we still use coal, we do so efficiently and responsibly.

Coal accounts for about 9% of Fortum and Uniper’s combined power generation, and it will decrease rapidly in the upcoming years. Coal use in Europe is gradually being phased out within the framework of national schedules.

Further information about fuel use by country is available on Sustainability 2020 Report.

Responsible fuel procurement


Fortum and Uniper require that suppliers commit to a responsible way of operating. We use the Bettercoal initiative’s Code and tools in assessing the responsibility of the coal supply chain. Bettercoal is an independent organisation with the goal of continuous improvement of the coal supply chain.

Fortum’s long-term goal (excl. Uniper) is that all coal suppliers commit to the Bettercoal initiative. In 2020, 53% of coal came from suppliers whose mines had undergone a Bettercoal site assessment. All coal imported by Fortum to Europe comes from Bettercoal suppliers.

Bettercoal suppliers accounted for 68% of Uniper’s coal procurements in 2020. Uniper aims to increase the share of coal procured from Bettercoal suppliers.

 

Fortum’s coal use in Finland

In Finland, coal is used at the Suomenoja and Meri-Pori power plants and at Fortum’s co-owned Naantali power plant.

Fortum will discontinue the use of coal at the Suomenoja combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Espoo in 2025. Fortum and the City of Espoo have together committed to developing Espoo’s district heating to be carbon-neutral in the 2020s in the Espoo Clean Heat project.

The Kivenlahti bioheat plant, completed in 2020, replaced one of the two coal-fired units at the Suomenoja plant. In addition to using biofuels in energy production, we are pursuing new solutions – from utilising excess heat from data centres, wastewater and industry with heat pumps to geothermal energy and smart demand-response solutions – to replace the remaining coal production. In 2021, the Otaniemi geothermal plant is expected to start production and the new heat pump unit utilising excess heat from wastewater is estimated to be commissioned at the Suomenoja plant.

Fortum’s Meri-Pori coal-fired power plant has been has been selected for 440 MW of production capacity for the national peak-load reserve capacity system, based on the competitive bidding organised by the Energy Authority. Fingrid will give the plant the possible start-up order in situations when there is a shortage of electricity or the threat of a power shortage is evident.  

Fortum’s coal use in Russia

Over 90% of our energy production in Russia is based on natural gas, and the development focus is on boosting energy efficiency. The Chelyabinsk combined heat and power plant CHP-2 and the Argayash combined heat and power plant in Russia use natural gas and coal in energy production.

Fortum’s coal use in Poland

In Poland, coal is used at the Czestochowa combined heat and power plant and the adjacent heat plants, as well as at the new Zabrze combined heat and power plant and the adjacent heat plants. The Czestochowa plant also uses biofuels, and the new Zabrze plant uses refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and coal. The old Zabrze and Bytom combined heat and power plants were closed in 2019 and will be completely decommissioned after 2022.

Coal suppliers

Fortum’s most significant coal suppliers in 2020 were SUEK, Kaproben, Maikuben-Komir, AB Energo, Polska Grupa Górnicza, and Węglokoks Kraj. Fortum doesn’t procure coal from Colombia.

Uniper

Uniper is independently responsible for its coal procurement. Uniper used 10.2 million tonnes of coal and lignite in 2020, 11.8 million in 2019, and 16.7 million tonnes in 2018. Information about Uniper’s coal procurement and use is available in Uniper's 2020 Sustainability Report.

We will gradually phase out coal

Fortum will phase-out or exit its coal-fired power generation in Germany, with the exception of the coal-fired Datteln 4 power plant, by 2025, in the United Kingdom by 2025, and in the Netherlands by 2029. In Germany, the 875-MW Heyden 4 coal-fired power plant was taken out of commercial power generation at the end of 2020, and the power plant will be closed permanently at the beginning of July 2021, provided that the German Federal Network Agency does not deem it critical to system stability. The Wilhelmshaven, the Scholven, and the Staudinger coal-fired power plants will be closed by the end of 2025 at the latest.