The gas filling station network of Eastern Finland expands following the opening of Gasum’s new station in Kuopio. The new station serves heavy-duty vehicles as well as passenger cars and offers local enterprises the opportunity to cut their emissions cost-effectively by using biogas and natural gas. The City of Kuopio is pursuing carbon neutrality, zero waste and globally sustainable consumption by 2050.
Gasum’s new gas filling station was opened at Kranaattikuja 2 in Kuopio. The station offers cars and heavy-duty vehicles operating in the area environmentally friendly fuels that make it easy to cut transport emissions significantly. Gasum aims to expand the heavy-duty filling station network by around 50 stations in Finland, Sweden and Norway by the early 2020s, and the new Kuopio station is part of this evolving network and the latest addition to the expanding Finnish filling station network.
Using biogas to fuel road vehicles makes it possible to cut the greenhouse gas emissions generated over the fuel life cycle by up to 85% compared with traditional fossil fuels. Biogas is produced in accordance with the circular economy principles from feedstocks including household biowaste, food waste from grocery stores and municipal sewage sludge. The gas filling station also serves heavy-duty vehicles by offering liquefied natural gas (LNG), a low-emission fuel that enables a cut of more than 20% in greenhouse gas emissions over the fuel life cycle.
The driving school Kuopion Ajokouluttajat Oy has also added two gas cars to its fleet to reduce the burden on the environment. The driving school’s cars operate a lot in the city center area, so the lower fine particulate emissions achieved thanks to the switch to gas fuel also have a positive impact on air quality.
”Our client base consists mainly of young people, who are highly aware of the environmental impacts of transport emissions these days and appreciate biogas as a more environmentally friendly alternative to conventional fuels,” says Managing Director Sami Torvinen from the Kuopio-based driving school Kuopion Ajokouluttajat Oy. ”In addition, it’s important for us that the cars we use are easy to drive and safe as well as agile for learning use. Both our teachers and learners have given a good welcome to gas-fueled cars.”
The popularity of driving on gas is increasing at a huge rate and the 10,000 gas cars mark was exceeded before the end of last year in Finland. More than 4,000 gas cars entered Finland’s roads during 2019 alone.
”The Kuopio filling station provides more and more businesses and private individuals with access to environmentally friendly gas fuel. The station supplements the gas filling station network available by national road 5, which is an important route for domestic road travel. The station’s location is also excellent for LNG-fueled heavy-duty long-haul operations,” says Olli Paasio, Director, Traffic Finland, from Gasum.
Kuopio has set itself the target of pursuing carbon neutrality, zero waste and globally sustainable consumption by 2050. The city’s biodegradable waste is already utilized in energy production at the Kuopio biogas plant. Thanks to the gas filling station, the area’s transport emissions are also expected to decrease.
”In line with the City of Kuopio strategy and resource wisdom program, the city is determined to promote smart mobility and a switch to low-emission vehicles. Doing this also helps reduce Kuopio's greenhouse gas emissions as road transport is one of the significant sources of emissions,” Environmental Director Tanja Leppänen points out.
In addition to the City of Kuopio, many logistics enterprises are also utilizing biogas to cut emissions.
”Environmental friendliness and local sourcing have been important values for our company ever since the beginning. We got our first biogas vehicles in 2016, and today already 25% of our fleet runs on biogas,” says Director Juha Niemi from the moving and logistics service provider Niemi Services Ltd. ”The growing gas filling station network enables us to use our biogas vehicles more extensively in Finland. We have biogas vehicles at all of our seven branches now that our Kuopio branch also received its first biogas vehicle.”