Municipality-owned energy companies and other heat production utilities are facing a challenge of how to implement new investments and the change investments required by the increasingly strict future emission norms. Municipal energy companies have to incur more debt for these investments. At the same time, the companies are becoming less profitable, which is visible in the municipal economy and consumer prices.

Together, KPA Unicon and Infranode have created a new type of concept which has never been tested before. Instead of outsourcing the production, this is rather a partnership with the client, who carries out fuel sourcing and either sells the produced energy or uses it for its own purposes with equipment owned by Varmalämpö. Availability is guaranteed by continuous use and maintenance services based on KPA Unicon’s expertise and long experience.

Service and life cycle models are becoming a part of the energy production of municipal energy production plants, enabling them to meet security of supply requirements in a cost-efficient manner. The models offered through Varmalämpö will improve the performance of the municipal energy sector through cost-effective production and no need for the operators to put pressure on their balance sheets as a result of large investment needs.

The concept developed together by KPA Unicon and Infranode provides a new kind of a solution: procuring a heat production plant as a service.

Infranode, a long-term infrastructure investor originating from Sweden, and KPA Unicon, a company producing heating boilers from Pieksämäki, Finland, established Varmalämpö Oy on 22 January 2018. The newly-established company will supply heating boilers with 10-25-year usability contracts to heat generators such as municipal energy companies and industry in Finland. The partnership enables later expanding the activities to the Swedish and Norwegian markets, in which Infranode already operates as a district heat production financier.

Initially, Varmalämpö aims to acquire approximately 15-20 clients. The prices of individual plants will range from EUR 2 to 30 million, depending on the size of the facility.

Infranode is a Nordic long-term infrastructure investor that invests in key infrastructure assets in the Nordics, such as energy and water utilities, telecommunications, transportation and social infrastructure. Infranode has 10 people investment team and offices in Helsinki, Stockholm and Oslo. The company manages investment capital of EUR 450 million. The company’s investors include LähiTapiola, the European Investment Bank, Folksam, KPA pension, the Swedish government’s AP4 pension fund and IMAS Foundation. Infranode is a sister company to Areim AB, a well-established Nordic property investment and advisory company.

KPA Unicon provides life cycle services for responsible district heat, steam and power generation. The company was founded in 1990 and has since then delivered over 300 biomass boiler plants and over 2,000 oil and gas boiler plants to Finland and the global market. The Group employs over 250 energy industry professionals. Its turnover in 2017 was around EUR 80 million with strongly positive outturns. The Group comprises of parent company KPA Unicon Group Oy and its subsidiary KPA Unicon Oy in Finland, and international subsidiaries in France, Russia, Ukraine, Croatia and Chile.  The company’s headquarters are located in Pieksämäki, Finland and energy-producing factories at Kiuruvesi and Lapua, Finland.

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