Fortum eyes $1.5 bln biofuel investment in Sweden

Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:32pm GMT

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* Plans investments of 1 bln euros over next 11 years

* Sweden main focus of programme

HELSINKI, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Finnish utility Fortum (FUM1V.HE) is considering investing 1 billion euros ($1.49 billion) in Sweden over the next 11 years to cut emissions and boost the use of renewable fuels, the company said on Wednesday.

"Investment decisions for each part of the plan will be made separately and will be based on Fortum's normal investment criteria," the company said in a statement.

It added that annual capital expenditure over the next four to five years would be within a range of 800 million to 1.2 billion euros, as earlier announced.

The company plans to build new biofuel-based power and heat capacity in the Stockholm area and replace fossil fuels in current production with "climate neutral" fuels, it said.

The aim is to increase the share of renewable energy at its Vartan combined heat and power (CHP) plant -- its biggest plant in the region -- to 70 percent by 2015 from 45 percent currently, Fortum said.

"Fortum's plan to reduce CO2 emissions calls for an increase in CHP production," the company said.

The investments would also include a waste-based unit at its Brista plant, a biofuel-based unit at Vartan, and a completely new CHP plant, seen to be commissioned in 2020, Fortum said.

The company said separately on Wednesday it would start environmental assessments for five 3-5 megawatt wind power installations in western Finland, with turbines seen ready in 2013, if permits were received on time. (Reporting by Eva Lamppu; editing by James Jukwey) ((eva.lamppu@reuters.com; +358 9 6805 0248; Reuters Messaging: eva.lamppu.reuters.com@reuters.net)) ($1=.6708 Euro)

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