Holmen sees peat as an interesting complement to biofuel. Peat is considered a slowly renewable resource, which makes it possible to add value to certain land assets within Holmen that are not productive forest land. A redundant peat field can be restored as a wetland or planted with forest.
To gain experience, in 2009 Holmen began cutting peat in the Örnsköldsvik area. Almost 90 GWh was harvested from the area in 2013, which set a new production record and is enough to heat 3 600 homes for a year.
Holmen is working to obtain an ‘authorisation for harvesting’ to cover a further 400 hectares for a new peat field in Västerbotten.
What is peat?
Peat consists of plant material that, owing to a lack of oxygen, has only partly decomposed into bogs and fens. The incomplete breakdown means that much of the energy content of the biological material is retained, enabling peat to be used as fuel. Peat harvesting provides a way of utilising several of the value-creating resources that the Group has at its disposal. Peat is used not only as an energy resource but also as a soil improver, animal bedding and a building material.