In 2022, HitecVision joined forces with Hafslund and Infranode in an off-market transaction to acquire Norway’s largest district heating provider, Fortum Oslo Varme. Following the NOK 20 billion acquisition, the company was renamed Hafslund Oslo Celsio – or just Celsio, for short.
Hafslund, a utility fully owned by the City of Oslo, is the majority owner in Celsio with a 60 percent share, while Infranode and HitecVision are substantial minority shareholders with 20 percent each.
Celsio is the largest supplier of district heating in Norway and a contributor to enabling a clean, sustainable energy supply and waste handling for the City of Oslo. The company has more than 200 employees. With 15 production facilities and an environmentally sustainable fuel mix, Celsio provides 1.8 TWh of heating on an annual basis to more than 160.000 buildings. The company’s largest plant, at Klemetsrud, is based on incineration of more than 400.000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste annually.
Carbon capture – an important climate solution
Incineration with energy recovery of municipal waste that cannot be recycled has far lower greenhouse gas emissions than landfill, and is a global necessity on the way to a circular economy. A typical waste-to-energy plant still has significant CO2 emissions, and it is imperative to develop and implement carbon capture and storage (CCS) solutions for this industry. Celsio has been working for several years to develop such a solution at its Klemetsrud waste-to energy facility.
Following the construction and testing of a pilot plant in 2021, an investment decision was made in 2022 for a full-scale carbon capture facility at the plant. Construction started immediately, and the plant is expected to become operational in 2026, as the world’s first full-scale carbon capture facility at a waste-to-energy plant.
The facility is expected to reduce emissions from the Klemetsrud plant by 400.000 tonnes per year, about 17% of the total greenhouse gas emissions of the city of Oslo. Therefore, the realization of carbon capture will be crucial for the City of Oslo if it is to achieve its ambitious climate goals of reducing emissions by 95 percent by 2030.
The project is part of the larger Longship project, a government-sponsored demonstrator for a full Carbon Capture and Storage value chain. CO2 captured at the Klemetsrud plant will be transported by truck to a nearby port facility, then by ship to a receiving terminal in western Norway for intermediate storage, before being transported by pipeline for permanent storage in a geological reservoir 2,600 metres under the North Sea seabed.
With about half of the waste incinerated at Klemetsrud being biogenic, the company will be significantly carbon-negative when the facility enters operation.
Future growth in a green city
Celsio aims to be a force for the greening of the city of Oslo. The company will continue to extend its district heating network and connect new buildings as part of the city’s rapid growth.
Celsio also aims to significantly expand its activities within district cooling, primarily to commercial buildings. Combining district heating and district cooling, using heat pumps and the benefit of the city’s location on the Oslo fjord, is a cost-effective solution that will contribute to reducing the city’s power consumption.