We are actively working on a number of measures to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions, such as reducing the use of fossil fuels and increasing energy efficiency. An expansion of the district heating network has been a subject of discussion with Skellefteå Kraft since the 1990s, and Rönnskär already delivers district heating to homes in the nearby communities of Skelleftehamn and Ursviken. The concept can now be implemented with the aid of funding from Climate Leap, the Swedish EPA’s investment support for local and regional measures that reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
— Industry often generates waste heat that is not profitable to utilize, but with financial support, energy efficiency can still be an interesting area to develop. Collaboration between industry and municipal companies increases the scope for energy efficiency and reduced climate emissions, and we want to see more such applications to the Climate Leap initiative,” said Carl Mikael Strauss, head of Climate Leap’s industrial unit at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, when the grant was awarded.
A preliminary project was carried out in 2022, and the project is now in its implementation phase. More of the waste heat from Rönnskär will now be used instead of being released into the sea, while the municipal energy company Skellefteå Kraft will no longer need to burn peat to generate heat. This represents an improvement in Rönnskär’s energy efficiency and a major reduction in carbon dioxide emissions overall.
— According to Skellefteå Kraft’s calculations, we’ll be able to deliver district heating to almost 5,000 more homes per year. Skellefteå Kraft’s carbon dioxide savings alone will amount to around 26,000 metric tons per year. For our part, it means that we can reduce the use of oil in our processes and improve our energy intensity by utilizing more heat,” says Leena Harjumaa, Project Manager at Boliden Rönnskär.
The connection of the two district heating networks will also lead to more stable and flexible energy conditions for the business, and district heating customers in Skelleftehamn and Ursviken will be less vulnerable to any unplanned shutdowns at Rönnskär.
Boliden’s investment will be used for three sub-projects. The first is the construction of a new hot water accumulator tank with a capacity of 15,000 cubic meters, which is ten times more than the existing tank, and a reinforcement of the district heating culvert between the industrial area and Skelleftehamn. The second consists of a new distribution center, which will be the location for new process equipment for district heating distribution. The third concerns minor renovations to our existing sulfur dioxide plant’s waste heat processing. All three projects are ongoing, and waste heat from Boliden Rönnskär is scheduled for delivery to the Skellefteå district heating network in early 2025.