Händelö is an industrial area by the outer harbor outside of Norrköping. In this area a cluster of eco-industries has developed, using each other’s bi-products as input into the production process. The hub in the bioenergy complex is E.ON’s combined heat and power plant where garbage and waste is converted into electricity, heating and – most important from the perspective of the energy complex – steam. In the next step biogas, eco-fertilizer and animal feed is produced in a unique, ingenious process where all the resources are utilized in the best possible way. To use waste that nobody wants for producing something that everyone needs is happening in Händelö, strictly on a commercial basis.
The household waste from Norrköping is delivered to E.ON’s heat and power plant for incineration. In the process, water is heated and turns into steam. The steam is led through a turbine, generating electricity that is delivered to the general electrical grid of Norrköping. After having passed through the turbine, some of the steam (now with a lower pressure) is transported to Lantmännen Agroetanol to supply energy for their production facility. The remaining steam is converted to hot water for the district-heating network, heating buildings in Norrköping. The water is finally transported back to E.ON’s facility and reheated.
The steam from E.ON’s plant is a prerequisite for Lantmännen Agroetanol’s production of the grain based ethanol, being the ethanol with the highest environmental performance in the world. The steam is used in the cooking and steaming processes of the ethanol production. The ethanol is produced from cereals (wheat, triticale, barley and rye). Approximately 600 000 tonnes of cereals are needed for a yield of 230 000 m3 ethanol.
The by-product from ethanol production is alcohol-free mash, called draff. The draff is protein-rich and thereby a valuable animal feed for animals. Most of the draff is dried and made into pellets for animal feed, closing the circle with the agricultural sector.
The residual water remaining after drying the draff into animal feed, has from time to time been delivered to the biogas factory owned by Svensk Biogas next door in Händelö. Together with other grains it is used for production of biogas. When the raw biogas has been upgraded to vehicle fuel, a residual remains, which is a highly qualitative fertilizer. This is brought back to the agricultural sector for growing cereals and thereby further closing the loop.
The biogas is delivered through a distribution network to vehicles in Norrköping. Garbage trucks and other vehicles use the biogas for fuel.
AGA and Lantmännen Agroetanol run a carbon dioxide production plan in Händelö as a joint venture since 2014. When Lantmännen Agroetanol produce ethanol, carbon dioxide is one of the by-products. Through the new plant, AGA can capture the raw gas, purify it and convert the carbon dioxide into a liquid. This means that the carbon dioxide is used for other purposes at the same time as the climate benefits of the ethanol is even higher. The new plant increases the climate benefits of ethanol from 70% to 95% according to the calculation methods of EU’s sustainability criteria for biofuels. For AGA the cooperation enables more cost efficient transports of carbon dioxide to a large number of customers in the area.
The business of Econova is to take care of industrial waste, for instance sludge from paper mills or ashes from incineration plants, and transform it into products for the agricultural sector, garden use or for bio fuels. Parts of the ash from E.ON’s powerplant is handled by Econova and is transformed into useful material at the same time as E.ON receives waste from Econova for incineration.
There is also a recycling cluster at Händelö, which is partly connected to the bioenergy complex to manage its waste products. One of these is Returpack. They collect deposited cans and PET-bottles from all over Sweden. Each year, 14,000 tonnes of aluminum and 19,000 tonnes of PET material is managed. The recycled material is distributed to other companies where it is used for production of new cans and bottles. The PET-bottles are delivered to Cleanaway, next door with Returpack in Händelö. Cleanaway recycle the bottles and deliver plastic pellets for production of new PET bottles and other plastic products. The waste from these companies (e.g. labels and other things removed during the recycling process of PET bottles) is transported for incineration to E.ON’s power and heating plant.