Algae cultivation is now heating up to 2,500 apartments in Gustavsberg, Sweden

Excess heat from AstaReal’s algae cultivation is now being used for district heating for up to 2,500 apartments in Gustavsberg, outside of Stockholm. Vattenfall’s innovative installation uses waste heat from AstaReal’s production process, that would otherwise be lost.

“AstaReal’s production process is energy-intensive and requires both electricity and cooling. The excess heat is now being used for heating homes and premises, and Gustavsberg’s residents now get more than 20 per cent of their heating needs from the new technology,” says Kurosh Beradari, Sales and Marketing Director at Vattenfall Heat in Sweden.

Autumn 2021, an energy contract was signed, for a specially adapted facility for heat recovery installed at AstaReal’s production facility in Gustavsberg.

“The technical solution is now in place, and we’ll continue to be responsible for operations and administration in the future. We’re proud of our collaboration with AstaReal, who pioneered the heat recovery, a groundbreaking solution that will benefit both their business and the local area,” says Lars Blomberg, responsible for industrial customers at Vattenfall Network Solutions.

The new solution makes it possible to efficiently recover excess heat from the production process, which means that more than fifteen million kilowatt hours of heat per year will be recovered and reused in the local district heating network in Gustavsberg.

AstaReal, from Gustavsberg, is the first company in the world to produce natural astaxanthin successfully on a large scale. This phytonutrient is used as a nutritional supplement for both humans and animals in Sweden as well as globally.

“Production of natural astaxanthin takes place through the cultivation of algae in unique indoor photobioreactors. It’s therefore important for us to use electricity and cooling as efficiently as possible. Our extended partnership with Vattenfall fully aligns with our ambition to grow the algae as sustainably as possible and to be a positive force in society with a circular business. We’re really happy that the Excess Heat Recovery Project is now up and running,” says Peter Worsöe, CEO of AstaReal AB.

Vattenfall and AstaReal have a comprehensive partnership for AstaReal’s energy solutions. In addition to the heat recovery facility, Vattenfall owns and manages high-voltage facilities such as transformers and switchgears, and supplies AstaReal with climate-neutral electricity. The plant has also been upgraded with a new, significantly more climate-friendly refrigerant (R1234ze(E)) than in previous solutions.

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