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Another good week for projects

Not a big week in terms of news flow, but a pretty good result in terms of project outcomes, with Uniper and Hydro’s projects notable and €800 million in new capital raised by Heart Aerospace and European Energy.

Feature Stories

German energy group Uniper is considering a multi-billion investment in a new facility in Östersund, Sweden, for the production of 100,00 tpa of renewable fuel intended for shipping. The plant will be located next to the energy company Jämtkraft's combined heat and power plant in Lugnvik, Östersund, and will utilise renewable hydrogen and captured biogenic carbon dioxide from cogeneration plants for e-methanol production. The project, named NorthStarH2, is now underway, with Uniper and Jämtkraft signing an agreement to secure access to land and an electricity grid connection for the facility. Plans include applying for permits, starting construction in 2026, and commencing production in 2028, contingent on approval. The investment is estimated to be in the "multi-billion class" if approved, with expectations of creating 50-100 new jobs during the operational phase.

Uniper is also exploring the possibility of building additional facilities for the production of renewable marine and aviation fuels in Sweden, including one in Luleå, citing Sweden's favourable conditions, including access to renewable electricity and biogenic carbon dioxide.

Swedish electric aircraft company Heart Aerospace has successfully raised $107 million in a B round (> SEK 1 billion), marking a significant milestone towards commercial aviation. The company is focused on developing the ES-30, a hybrid plane designed for regional travel with a capacity of 30 passengers. It has received 250 orders for its plane, with an additional 120 potential orders and signed letters of intent for 191 planes. The funding will support further business development and certification efforts for this aircraft. The investment comes from a range of notable investors, including Danish Sagitta Ventures, Air Canada, Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Venture, Norrsken VC, Y Combinator, United Airlines, and EQT Ventures. EQT partner Ted Persson will join Heart's board as part of this investment, highlighting the company's commitment to carbon reduction in aviation.

Hydro is investing €180 million in a new aluminium recycling plant in Torija, Spain, to advance the decarbonisation of European industry. 

  • The state-of-the-art aluminium recycling plant in Torija, Spain, will promote low-carbon aluminium for Europe's green transition, e.g. for electric vehicles, renewable energy, and building systems.

  • The new plant will produce 120,000 tonnes of recycled low-carbon aluminium annually and create about 70 jobs in Torija. This aluminium will be supplied to various industrial sectors in Europe.

  • The final construction decision is expected in the second half of 2024, with production set to begin in 2026.

  • Advanced sorting technology will be used to maximize recycled aluminium scrap, reducing energy consumption and delivering high-quality aluminium for applications like the automotive industry.

This investment underscores Hydro's commitment to providing sustainable and low-carbon aluminium solutions to support Europe's shift towards a more environmentally friendly industrial sector.

Researchers at Blekinge University of Technology have conducted a study comparing various future scenarios related to nuclear power and renewable energy. The findings suggest that new nuclear power is not cost-effective, and the green transition should focus on energy savings and renewable sources. The study indicates that the Government's nuclear power roadmap will cost SEK 470-1,070 billion more by 2050, than the alternative of investments in energy savings and new renewable energy. Additional costs during the operational life of new nuclear power could be between SEK 2,080-5,080 billion, with an assumed lifetime until around 2100. The researchers emphasise the urgent need to invest in fossil-free electricity at competitive prices to support industrial electrification and Sweden's green transition.

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