Press release

Fortum to participate in a new bioenergy research programme in Finland and India

29 May 2013, 10:00 EEST


Fortum will participate in the Sustainable Bioenergy Solutions for Tomorrow (BEST) research programme established by two Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation (SHOK), CLEEN Oy and FIBIC Oy, in Finland and India. The programme is the first joint programme of the two SHOKs, and its goal is to encompass a completely new kind of collaboration between forest and energy know-how. TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) is the main partner from India during the first phase of the programme.

“The demand for bioenergy for various purposes will increase and international trade will expand. As a result, new means and business models for responsible management of the bioenergy chain will be needed. The goal of the new research programme is to develop a radically improved way of operating as an ecosystem of bioenergy, i.e. as a whole,” says Marja Englund, R&D Manager, responsible for the collaboration in Fortum.

The long-term goal of Fortum’s research and development efforts is to enable a sustainable, carbon dioxide-free future. Bioenergy is an important energy source, and its acquisition and use in energy production must be ecologically, economically and socially sustainable.

Collaboration across boundaries

“Cooperation between TERI Nordic and Fortum Corporation will provide clear opportunities to address the energy challenges faced by a large number of Indian states and union territories, particularly in the east and south, by introducing next generation of renewable energy technologies and production pathways developed by Fortum.” says Dr. Pradipta Halder, Director, TERI Nordic. "Foreign collaboration can bring state of the art technologies into the country especially clean energy technologies and expertise for efficient ways of producing and distributing power all over the country", he continues.  

High efficiency of primary energy and the possibility to flexibly use different biomasses for fuel are characteristic to CHP production. Scarcity of natural resources and emissions issues will increase the value of CHP production in the future, which could present a significant opportunity for exporting Finnish know-how.

International collaboration to improve living conditions in India

Significant international research collaboration with, e.g. India will be part of the programme. In India, which is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, energy supply is a key factor in creating better living conditions and in social and industrial development. Emerging economies have their own unique characteristics, and the differences are often substantial when compared to old industrialized countries. The successful exporting of Finnish know-how requires a good understanding of the target areas and their development potential. In India, electricity production can’t keep up with the growing demand, and fuel scarcity and environmental issues are significant challenges  already today.

“Energy-efficient CHP production has a lot of potential in India, and Finnish know-how can offer solutions for understanding and capitalising that potential. Fortum has operated in India since early 2012 with a goal to assess the opportunities for participating in the development of India’s energy sector by investing particularly in CHP production, which would provide steam and electricity for energy-intensive industry. The programme being launched is very interesting and supports our ambition of utilising locally sourced biofuels whenever possible,” says Maria Paatero-Kaarnakari, Senior Vice President, Fortum Asia.

Participants in the new research programme include several forest, energy, technology and consultancy companies as well as universities and research institutions. The research programme will last four years with an annual volume of about four million euros. Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) is providing 4.2 million euros in funding for the first two-year period of the programme.

Fortum Corporation
Corporate Communications

Additional information:
Maria Paatero-Kaarnakari, Senior Vice President, Fortum Asia. Tel +918527694499


Fortum's purpose is to create energy that improves life for present and future generations. We provide sustainable solutions that fulfil the needs for low emissions, resource efficiency and energy security, and deliver excellent value to our shareholders. Our activities cover the generation, distribution and sales of electricity and heat as well as related expert services.
Fortum's operations focus on the Nordic countries, Russia, Poland and the Baltics. In the future, the integrating European and fast-growing Asian energy markets provide additional growth opportunities. In 2012, Fortum’s sales totalled EUR 6.2 billion and comparable operating profit was EUR 1.7 billion. We employ approximately 10,400 people. Fortum’s shares are quoted on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.
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