Valio uses biogas from own dairy farm to fuel delivery vehicle

Dairy group Valio is using biogas generated by its Vuorenmaa dairy farm in Haapavesi to fuel a delivery vehicle.

March 8, 2021. Dairy group Valio is using biogas generated by its Vuorenmaa dairy farm in Haapavesi to fuel a delivery vehicle.

The farm has 180 cows that produce milk for the group, mostly for its Oltermanni cheese brand. Ithas used the manure its cows produce to generate electricity and heat for the farm at its in-house biogas plant for a number of years.

Using biogas as vehicle fuel is a part of Valio’s programme that aims to reset milk’s carbon footprint to zero by 2035. Reducing heavy goods vehicle (HGV) traffic emissions is an important part of Finland’s 2035 carbon-neutrality target, and this means of replacing fossil fuels with cleaner energy could be rolled out in other areas, the company said.

“The Vuorenmaa farm’s biogas plant currently produces roughly 1,900 Mwh of biogas every year,” commented Janne Vuorenmaa, who runs the farm with his brother and family. “We were overhauling the plant’s equipment and decided to expand its functions to produce biogas fuel.

“The milk truck from our local dairy at Haapavesi can fill up at our farm at the same time as they collect our milk. In the future, the fuelling station near the farm will also provide biogas for passenger cars.”

Roughly 15 million tonnes of manure are generated every year in Finland. Usage of agricultural side flows is, however, still at an early stage in Finland, and using pressurised biogas that is made of cow manure is a new development.

Valio’s Development Manager, Petteri Tahvanainen, said “using biogas can reduce fuel’s lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85 percent compared to diesel, which is what our milk collection and distribution trucks run on. At the same time, the dairy farm’s own carbon footprint goes down significantly, by a quarter or a fifth, depending on the method of calculation.”

The biogas plant and the biomethane refining and refuelling station were manufactured by Demeca Oy, a company based in Haapavesi.

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