Waste and by-products

Waste and by-products from own power plants

Ash is a by-product of the use of fuels, and gypsum and other desulphurisation products are by-products of flue-gas desulphurisation. Ash and desulphurisation products account for a more than 90% share, on average, of the by-products and waste from our energy production.

Power plant maintenance generates scrap metal and other conventional industrial waste and, to a smaller extent, waste oil and other hazardous waste. We aim to recycle by-products and waste, whenever possible. The waste management service providers we use are properly licensed and reliable waste management companies.

In addition to conventional industrial waste, the Loviisa nuclear power plant also generates radioactive waste, which we treat in accordance with the requirements of Finnish nuclear energy legislation. The volume of radioactive waste generated is small, but special solutions are needed in their treatment and final disposal.

The total volume of by-products and waste generated at Fortum’s power and heat plants in 2016 was about 735,000 (2015: 601,000) tonnes. Of this volume, 37% was recycled or reused.

Waste reception, recycling and reuse

As a part of our new strategy, we have expanded our business portfolio to include also circular economy services for our customers. For us, the circular economy means that materials are recycled as much as possible and hazardous substances are removed from circulation. Fortum’s new circular economy business receives, processes and reuses customer waste for material recycling and energy production in Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

In 2016, we received a total of 396,300 tonnes of non-hazardous waste and 239,000 tonnes of hazardous waste from our customers. As much of the waste stream as possible is recycled, recovered or reused. Waste that is unsuitable for recycling or reuse as a material is incinerated in waste-to-energy plants.