Adlercreutz: Clean energy has attracted huge investment to Ingå: now focus on a quick permit process

Helsinki Sanomat newspaper reported on interest by the Norwegian company Blastr Green Steel to build a new steel factory in the southern Finnish municipality of Ingå. The investment sum lies around EUR 4 billion. Anders Adlercreutz, Chair of the Swedish Parliamentary Group, considers this expression of interest as a good example of how policies aiming to support the green transition can lead to projects of major significance to the national economy.

“The green transition and economic policy are often seen as polar opposites. This proposed investment is a further example of how outdated such polarisation can be. When we established the Finnish Parliament’s Inter-Party Energy Reform Group in 2015, we envisioned projects such as these as being both possible and desirable. It is very rewarding to witness development in this sector,” Adlercreutz says.

“The availability of clean energy plays a critical role in Finland’s future success. In 2022, around 1,800 MW of new wind power generators were installed in Finland. This is an impressive rate of development. Just under a year ago, Microsoft announced a multi-billion-euro investment in a data centre and related heat recovery, in the southern municipality of Kirkkonummi. Now we have heard of similarly sized investment plans by the Norwegians, which also support the green transition.”

The present cabinet has lowered Finland’s industrial energy tax rate to the EU’s minimum level.

“Lowering the energy tax rate was an important question for SFP during the cabinet negotiations. It has increased Finland’s attractiveness in the eyes of domestic and international investors. Instead of building aid systems we should be securing our competitiveness with these kinds of decisions,” Adlercreutz points out.

Excellent port and electricity transmission connections made Ingå an attractive option for Blastr Green Steel’s steel plant.

“Fortum no longer has a power plant in Ingå, but the infrastructure that used to serve it provided good foundations for new activities. Now we have to ensure that permit processes advance quickly and without faults. Finland still has a lot of room for improvement in such processes, from the point of view of investments being completed. The slowness of building and environmental permits must not become a hindrance. We should aim to be the best in the Nordic countries in this respect,” Adlercreutz concludes.

A momentous decision for Western Uusimaa and all of Finland

“Many pieces fell into place as a consequence of diverse political decisions, when the Norwegian company Blastr Green Steel announced a multi-billion-dollar investment into climate-smart steel production in Western Uusimaa,” says Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality.

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