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 use in power generation rapidly. Fortum is the third largest producer of carbon dioxide-free electricity in Europe.

Zabrze

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

Fortum uses hard coal and lignite in Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, and Finland. In 2021, coal accounts for about 13% of our 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.

At year-end 2021, Fortum Group’s coal volume purchased via direct contract from Bettercoal suppliers was 67%.

Coal suppliers

Fortum’s most significant coal suppliers in 2021 were SUEK, Maikuben-Komir, AB Energo, Polska Grupa Górnicza, and Węglokoks Kraj. Fortum is working towards diversification of our coal procurement sources to our power plants to improve the security of supply.

Fortum Group's coal use

Fortum uses hard coal and lignite in Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, and Finland. In our energy production in 2021, coal and lignite accounted for about 21% of our total fuel consumption.

Fortum’s coal use in Finland

In Finland, coal is used at the Suomenoja combined heat and power (CHP) plant and Meri-Pori power plant, and at Fortum’s co-owned Naantali CHP plant.

Fortum will discontinue the use of coal at the Suomenoja 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.

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 Poland

In Poland, coal is used at the Czestochowa combined heat and power plant and the heat only boiler plants, as well as at the new Zabrze combined heat and power plant and the heat only boiler plants. The Czestochowa plant also uses biofuels, and the new Zabrze plant uses refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and coal.

Fortum’s coal use in Russia

The majority of our energy production in Russia is based on natural gas, and the development focus is on boosting energy efficiency. In 2021, Fortum sold its coal-fired Argayash CHP plant. Following the decision to transition from coal to gas at the Chelyabinsk CHP-2 plant, the transaction will allow the Russia division to discontinue its use of coal by the end of 2022. This leaves only Uniper’s Berezovskaya power plant without a clear coal-exit path in Russian operations.

We will gradually phase out coal in Europe

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 2024, and in the Netherlands by 2029.

In Germany, the lignite-fired 900-MW Schkopau power plant was sold in 2021. With the sale of Schkopau, Fortum Group’s lignite chapter in Europe came to an end.

In Germany, the 757-MW Wilhelmshaven power plant ceased coal-fired power generation at the end of 2021. The coal-fired 875-MW Heyden power plant was taken out of commercial power generation at the end of 2020, and the power plant remains as a reserve capacity until September 2022. The coal-fired 345-MW Scholven C plant unit will cease commercial power generation in 2022, and will be permanently decommissioned then. Additionally, the coal-fired 510-MW Staudinger 5 plant unit will be closed in 2023.

In the United Kingdom, one of four 500-MW units of the coal-fired Ratcliffe power plant will be closed in 2022, which is two years earlier than the date announced by the UK Government for the coal phase-out.