Transition from coal to renewable fuels

When the Igelsta district heating plant came on stream in 1982, the air in Södertälje improved dramatically. To further improve air in the region and to reduce the number of oil-fired boilers, the district heating networks in Huddinge and Botkyrka were also connected to the Igelsta plant.

This plant was built to burn coal, which at that time was considered a good source of energy, being easy to transport and store. To make the fuel management process as efficient and environment-friendly as possible, a quay was built alongside the Igelsta plant to which coal could be transported by boat. There, it was unloaded directly onto a covered conveyor belt that took it to an underground storage facility.

When the environmental impact of fossil fuels and their contribution to global warming began to be understood, the Swedish state introduced green taxes to persuade energy companies to switch from coal and oil to other fuels. The Igelsta plant initiated a major conversion programme to adapt its boilers to biofuels and recycled fuels. This work took almost ten years to complete.

We now burn biofuels and recovered waste fuels
Today, we burn mainly recovered fuels, which are derived from crushed waste materials, i.e. scrap paper, wood and plastic from offices, shops and industries. We also burn recovered wastewood and peat, and small quantities of oil that are required both to light our boilers and for use in particularly cold weather.

The best flue gas treatment plant
Far-sighted politicians chose to build the best flue gas treatment plant to be found in Europe at that time. Since then, we have constantly been improving our treatment of flue gases. As a result, we have been able to burn our new fuels while constantly building our environmental values and reducing our emissions.

The Igelsta plant was judged the best environmental investment in Södertälje under the municipality’s Agenda 21 programme.