Bio-methane filling station network to expand

24. July 2017 | 10:35

The state-owned foundation Environmental Investment Centre (EIC) is providing EUR 2.23 million in support for the construction of 12 filling stations that will offer bio-methane fuelling capability.  The financial support will be allocated from the European Union Cohesion Fund.

The goal of the support programme is the proliferation of the use of renewable transport fuels, which will also create the necessary prerequisites for starting up local production of methane fuel gas.

Filling stations will be constructed in Põlva, Valga, Rakvere, Paide, Jõhvi, Haapsalu, Viljandi, Kuressaare and Kuusalu. Tallinn will receive an additional filling station, with bio-methane fuelling to become possible at the Alexela filling station in Pääsküla. Alexela Oil AS and Eesti Gaas AS will both be constructing filling stations in Rakvere and Jõvi, which means that competition is also expected in the retail sale of fuel.

‘Establishing filling stations across Estonia will result in an increase in the use of gas as a transport fuel since compressed gas will be offered in parallel to bio-methane at the filling stations being built. While the offering of bio-fuel at filling stations may initially be modest, since production is currently not taking place in Estonia, the forecast is positive. Over a period of ten years it will be possible through the adoption of bio-methane to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by 16,000 tonnes,’ says Siim Umbleja, Executive Coordinator at EIC.

A total of 31 projects were received during the bio-methane filling station application round. The support measure was developed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

Background information:

During the application round last year three filling station projects were financed in the sum of EUR 440,000, as a result of which the possibility for fuelling with compressed gas is now available in the town of Võru, the small town of Jüri and the Sikupilli urban region of Tallinn. The Võru filling station is already operational and is being used primarily by county bus lines. The other filling stations should be ready by the end of the year.

The goal of the support provided through the EIC is to launch the consumption and supply of bio-methane, to help in reaching the renewable energy objective for transportation. Estonia has set the goal of raising renewable energy use in the transportation sector to 10% by the year 2020. Bio-methane is more environmentally friendly and in the long-term perspective more stable price-wise than imported fuels and its use helps to improve Estonia’s energy security.

The Environmental Investments Centre finances various environmental projects using funds from Estonian environmental charges, income from the sale of carbon dioxide quotas, and from the Structural Funds of the European Union. In addition, the Environmental Investments Centre accepts applications for a loan for specific purposes aimed at implementing environmental projects. Over a period of seventeen years, the state has supported more than 20,000 environmental projects with more than EUR 1.2 billion via the Environmental Investments Centre Foundation.