Emissions into air

Fortum’s activities cause various emissions into air. Greenhouse gases that accelerate global climate change are generated primarily from the use of fossil fuels and the combustion of waste of a fossil origin. Possible gas leaks during the transport of liquid natural gas and the piping of natural gas also impact climate change.

Flue-gas emissions causing local environmental and health effects are generated from all incineration. Nitrogen oxides are generated from the nitrogen contained in the fuel and in the combustion air. Sulphur dioxide, in turn, is generated from the sulphur that is an impurity in, e.g., coal, peat and oil. Particle emissions are fine-grained ash generated primarily in the combustion of solid fuels and waste. Depending on the origin of the fuel and waste, the particles contain various heavy metals.

World-class air pollution control

It is possible to decrease nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and particle emissions through fuel selections and various flue-gas cleaning technologies. Fortum has world-class know-how in combustion technology, and we have delivered combustion technology solutions to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions to many other power utilities. During 2016 we supplied burner projects to Estonian, Swedish, Romanian and Polish customers.

Our Meri-Pori and Suomenoja power plants are equipped with a desulphurisation plant. The scrubber and bag filter that we are constructing for the new Zabrze CHP plant in Poland will reduce emissions into air.
Our plants incinerating hazardous waste are located in Riihimäki Finland, Kumla Sweden, and Nyborg Denmark, and are equipped with efficient flue-gas cleaning systems. Harmful emissions to air are minimised with various filters and scrubbers selected based on the waste to be incinerated.

Stricter standards

The EU has set very strict limits for flue-gas emissions; meeting the requirements necessitates the use of best available technology (BAT). Our nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and particle emissions have, in fact, decreased significantly in our European production over the past decades. Emissions limits became even stricter when the Industrial Emissions Directive came into force in 2016.

All Fortum power plants operate in compliance with the terms of their environmental permits, and the plants meet the new emissions requirements, for the most part. Investments in flue-gas cleaning processes and systems will be made in upcoming years at the Suomenoja power plant in Finland and the Rejtana heat plant in Poland.

At Russian power plants, emissions are limited in accordance with Russian legislation. The new legislation currently being drafted in Russia will bring stricter emissions standards in the future.

Flue-gas emissions

Our sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions were 22,500 (2015: 19,900) t, nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions 26,000 (2015: 26,800) t and particle emissions 16,800 (17,800) t.81% (2015: 77%) of sulphur dioxide, 82% (2015: 84%) of nitrogen oxide and 98% (2015: 98%) of particle emissions originated from Russian power plants.
More detailed information regarding our emissions into air are available in our Sustainability report.