Vattenfall and AstaReal are expanding their cooperation through a comprehensive energy contract to recover excess heat from AstaReal’s algae cultivation. The idea is to be able to meet the heating requirements corresponding to 2,500 new apartments in Gustavsberg near Stockholm through the new partnership.
“AstaReal’s production process is energy-intensive and requires both electricity and cooling. The excess heat that arises will be available for use for heating homes and premises. From spring 2022, Gustavsberg residents will have more than 20 percent of their heating requirements covered through this solution,” says Lovisa Fricot Norén, Head of Vattenfall Heating in Sweden.
As part of the new energy contract, a customised solution with reversible heat pumps will be installed at AstaReal’s plant in Gustavsberg. This 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, in Gustavsberg, is the first company in the world to produce the substance astaxanthin successfully on a large scale. It’s used as a nutritional supplement for both humans and animals in Sweden and globally. Production takes place through the cultivation of algae in unique bioreactors. The process is energy-intensive and therefore we’re committed to the most efficient use of electricity and cooling. 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,” says Peter Worsöe, CEO of AstaReal.
In addition to the heating contract, Vattenfall will also continue to own and manage high-voltage installations such as transformers and switchgears, as well as supplying climate-neutral electricity. The heat pump plant is being upgraded with a new and much more climate-friendly refrigerant (R1234zee) than in previous solutions.
“We look forward to expanding our partnership with AstaReal, who will be a pioneer with this new technical solution that allows for connection to the district heating network. We’re proud to be able to support AstaReal’s ambition to find more fossil-free solutions, while at the same time they’re able to transfer all responsibility for the plant’s heat recovery through us owning, managing and ensuring its function,” says Torbjörn Johansson, Head of Vattenfall Network Solutions in Sweden.
SamEnergi is Vattenfall’s concept for transferring surplus heat from industries, data centres and other heat-producing facilities to the district heating network. Vattenfall Network Solutions offers energy solutions within the Power-as-a-Service concept, where Vattenfall takes full financial and functional responsibility for its customers’ high-voltage installations, charging infrastructure solutions, or batteries. Since 1995, Vattenfall has been supplying AstaReal with hydroelectric power, which is environmentally declared in line with the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).
AstaReal was the first company in the world to produce astaxanthin successfully in bioreactors on a large scale. The substance has been sold under the Astaxin trademark since 1995. AstaReal AB is part of the AstaReal Group, which is owned by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Fuji Chemical Industries.