Chemical industry company Kiilto Oy was granted the Hinku award this June. Kiilto is investing in energy efficiency and the utilisation of renewable energy. The company is utilising waste heat from its polymerisation process as well as ground heat and cooling to heat and cool its plant facilities at the production plant in Lempäälä, where adhesives for industrial uses and products for the construction industry are made.
Using the hybrid system implemented in 2018, the company has been able to decrease its use of natural gas by 1,800 megawatt hours, one third of the previous level. As such, the company’s calculations show that the carbon dioxide emissions of the facility have decreased by 310 tonnes. These actions are also financially profitable. The investment is estimated to repay itself in just over four years, creating annual savings of approximately 80,000 euros in the company’s energy bill. Kiilto’s total energy consumption in Lempäälä has decreased by 14% since the implementation of the system.
Excess heat utilised or stored
Before, the excess heat from the facility was wasted along with cooling water. Now, the collected heat can be utilised in the heating of the plant’s facilities. The system includes two separate heat pumps connected to the polymerisation cooling chambers and, through the accumulator, the plant’s heating network.
The guidance system is continuously optimising the operation of the heat pumps to allow the utilisation of as much heat from the process cooling chambers as possible, as well as efficient and affordable cooling of the chambers. If more energy is collected than required by the heating of the buildings or process cooling, the excess is stored in the ground using a heat pump. After collecting the heat from the water, the water is returned to the cooling of the polymerisation. These actions have increased the cooling capacity by approximately 80%.
The industrial scale hybrid system utilising waste heat, ground heat, and ground cooling is presumably the only one of its kind in Europe, if not the entire world.
– Vesa Juhannusvuori, Technical Manager, Kiilto Oy
‘Kiilto’s activity also show the importance of a clear vision of developing the operations of a company to meet future requirements,’ says Research Engineer Jyrki Tenhunen from the Finnish Environment Institute.
Kiilto is a prime example of how investments increasing energy efficiency and the utilisation of renewable energy can create significant savings, while providing the company with a competitive edge.
Jyrki Tenhunen, Research Engineer, Syke
‘At the moment, we are using renewable energy to heat almost all of our plant buildings. We have also been able to make our production more efficient using the hybrid system. The investments we have made have removed the need to change our production capacity according to our cooling capacity,’ explains Technical Manager Vesa Juhannusvuori from Kiilto.
Investments continued in energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions
Kiilto’s Lempäälä plant will continue investing in energy efficiency. The plant aims to expand its process heat collection network. In autumn 2019, the plant will implement a similar hybrid system in the production of hot melt adhesives. The system is estimated to create annual savings of 50,000 euros in heating expenses and decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 175 tonnes.
Kiilto has also made investments in the utilisation of solar power. Starting in July 2019, a solar power station of 3,100 panels and 1 MWp will be built on the roofs of the plant buildings for electricity production. Kiilto has already been utilising solar power in its operations. At the time of implementation in 2008, the 260 solar panels installed on the roof of the Lempäälä plant were the largest solar power station in use in Finland.
In addition to energy solutions, the company is also making investments in other environmental objectives. In spring 2018, Kiilto launched the Promise to the Environment project, which aims among other things to become the leading circular economy company in the field. Through the same project, the company also invests in environmentally friendly packaging and logistics, for example.
We are guided by the wish to be the environmental leaders of our field. We want to set an example of how to do things while saving the environment – and money.
Vesa Juhannusvuori, Technical Manager, Kiilto Oy
Lempäälä participating in the Hinku network and the Canemure project
By its council decision, the municipality of Lempäälä joined the Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities (Hinku) network in October 2018, supporting the decision of the Tampere region to join the work to reduce emissions. The main objective of the Hinku network is to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from the 2007 level by 2030. The remaining emissions are to be sequestered in carbon sinks and compensated for.
The Pirkanmaa region is one of the seven regions participating in the six-year EU Life IP Canemure (Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities) project to promote the mitigation of climate change, coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute. In Pirkanmaa, the Canemure project is funded by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) and the Regional Council of Tampere Region, which is responsible for the coordination of the project. One of the sub-projects is focused on promoting sustainable forms of transport in the Tampere region.