NREP Logicenters, a leading Nordic real estate investor and developer, and QHeat, a next-generation energy company, have completed their joint pilot project to build a deep geothermal well in Espoo, Finland. The pilot aims to provide a near zero-emission energy solution that can produce up to 40 times more heat energy than traditional ground heat.
NREP Logicenters and QHeat’s pilot project on a deep geothermal well has been completed at NREP Logicenters’ logistics property in Koskelonkuja, Espoo. The pilot is Finland’s first functional geothermal heating plant that can heat as well as cool large property complexes in a nearly emission-free manner.
The deep geothermal well, located on NREP Logicenters’ property, is approximately one kilometer deeper than a regular geothermal heat pump, which enables greater production of energy. The well, which was taken into use in January, is 1,300 meters deep and is estimated to produce more than 1,000 MWh of heat energy per year, which equals the heat consumption of approximately three apartment buildings. The well covers 60–80 percent of the 16,000 m2 logistic property’s heating. In addition, QHeat’s technology enables the property’s cooling during the summer.
“The heating of buildings represents approximately one fourth of the total energy consumption in Finland, and most of this energy is produced with fossil fuels. The only way we can reach our goal of using only renewable energy in our properties is to pilot and scale new solutions such as this one,” says Jani Nokkanen, CIO and partner at NREP.
The drilling of the deep geothermal well began at the end of July 2019, and the well’s heat production began in January 2020. The pilot is part of the Smart Otaniemi innovation ecosystem and received nearly half of its funding from Business Finland.
“We are excited to put into operation Finland’s first functional geothermal heating plant. We are grateful to Business Finland and NREP for funding this pilot. We believe that this technology has significant export potential as a solution to decrease emissions from heating and cooling,” says Miska Eriksson, QHeat’s CEO.
The energy production of NREP Logicenters’ deep geothermal well will be tested during spring and the company aims to utilize the technology also in its other properties.
“QHeat’s technology has great potential, as it enables emission-free geothermal heat also in densely built urban areas. We have already identified large projects in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in which we would like to scale the technology,” Nokkanen continues.
Logicenters is continuing to strengthen its portfolio in the Finnish market. In Kerava, just outside Helsinki, Logicenters is currently developing a logistics facility with a total area of 18,300 m2. A ten-year lease has been signed with tenant Dachser to lease an area of around 4600 m2. The property is scheduled for completion in 2020.
A leading developer, owner and manager of logistics facilities in the Nordic region, Logicenters is currently developing a property in Kerava, Finland. The 18,300 m2 property is located in the Kerca logistics zone, just outside Helsinki, and is scheduled for completion in the 3rd quarter of 2020. Construction company Lehto Tilat Oy is responsible for construction of the property. A ten-year lease has been signed with logistics company Dachser regarding a 4600 m2 area comprising a 4000 m2 cross-docking area and 600 m2 of offices.
Logicenters’ new facility is located in a strategically important area in the Helsinki region, in close proximity to the international airport and the E75 motorway. Its proximity to the Savio railway station also provides excellent options for commuting to Helsinki. In line with Logicenters’ ambition to improve energy efficiency at its properties, this logistics facility will be equipped with solar cells on the roof and will utilise geothermal heat.
“We are delighted that the development in Kerava has begun. The area is attractive due to its strategic location, excellent communications and competitive leasing levels. Consequently, it is gratifying that the municipality is investing in logistics. We have previously enjoyed a very good relationship with Dachser, which makes it very pleasing to be entering into this development with the company,” says Jarkko Äikää, Commercial Director at Logicenters in Finland.
“The modern terminal in Kerava, as well as proximity of the Vuosaari harbor and the main railway, provides an excellent logistical site for Dachser now and in the future. Furthermore, we are able to provide a multitude of services for Finnish export and import companies in the domestic market. The flexible collaboration with Logicenters and the City of Kerava enables us to continue our growth story, which began for our road transport business in 2014 in Finland,” says Tuomas Leimio, Managing Director, European Logistics Finland, DACHSER Finland Oy.
”In Kerava’s strategy, the City is strongly committed to helping businesses grow and thrive in the area. Logistics is one of the key industries in our modern economic environment. The new logistics facility will expand the Kerca logistics zone and will increase the attractiveness of Kerava for businesses as a whole. The facility will also create dozens of new jobs, which is absolutely fantastic,” says Kirsi Rontu, the Mayor of Kerava.
The new logistics facility has around 13,000 m2 still available for leasing by future tenants wishing to establish themselves in one of the best logistics zones in the Helsinki Metropolitan area. The facility has already raised interest among several industry organizations.
For the past two years, Logicenters has invested heavily in its project development department, more than doubling the number of employees. Under the leadership of the company’s Head of Development, Eva Sterner, the department will expand further and scale up initiatives in both area efficiency and environmental work. However, Eva Sterner would also like to attract more women to a male-dominated industry.
With a PhD under her belt and a background as Technical Director Due Diligence at WSP and Managing Director at Watts, Eva began working at Logicenters seven years ago. According to Eva, it is the growth journey, a steady flow of interesting projects, and above all, her colleagues who have been significant reasons behind her becoming a long-term presence at Logicenters. In recent years, both Logicenters and her own department have grown significantly. According to her, this is both because the organisation is flexible and has great ambitions, but also because Logicenters is comprised of people who are driven to do things in new and innovative ways.
Eva Sterner is currently head of Logicenters’ project development department, which has expanded from two to eight people since 2017, with further recruitments planned. Central to this future development is the continued ability to attract talent, with Eva particularly wishing to encourage more women and girls to apply to the logistics industry. An industry which has until now been male dominated.
“I am proud to work for a company with such great ambitions and which allows all its employees to grow. As I personally had no female role models in the logistics industry, I would like to be a role model for girls wanting to work at smart logistics properties. For this to be possible, female employees must be both encouraged and promoted. I believe that Logicenters does this every day, which is something I see as both modern and important,” says Eva Sterner, Head of Development at Logicenters.
The project development department has a great responsibility regarding procurement, contact with tenants, property development and the contractual parts of the works contract. The department is constantly striving to find newer, smarter ways to develop modern properties, where 30-metre high-bay warehouses and energy audits exemplify innovative initiatives from Logicenters. With regard to energy efficiency, Eva plays an important role in Logicenters’ work to reduce its carbon footprint. Something which she finds customers are appreciating more and more.
“I am finding that there is increasing focus on the environment within the industry, something which I am very pleased about. We often coach our customers on issues regarding reduced energy consumption, not least by conducting energy audits, and we are finding that we are being listened to. It is my ambition to continue to drive this development forwards in order that we can offer even smarter and more energy-efficient logistics properties with as low a carbon footprint as possible. Being able to lead this development in an organisation where both colleagues and management support my ambitions is something of which I am very proud and something that makes Logicenters an attractive workplace and company,” concludes Eva Sterner.
Nordic real estate investment company NREP and Logicenters will build the world’s first deep geothermal well with seasonal storage capability in Espoo in cooperation with the energy industry start-up QHeat. The project pilots a new, nearly emission-free energy solution for large real estate, producing as much as 40 times the heat energy of traditional geothermal heating.
The deep geothermal well developed by QHeat is a medium-depth geothermal well drilled to the depth of approximately two kilometres and can heat and cool large real estate areas or regional grids with near-zero emissions. The solution enables emission-free geothermal heating in growing urban areas, as well, as it is well suited to dense housing areas and groundwater areas. The pilot is carried out at the NREP Logicenters’ logistics property in Espoo, and it is estimated to reduce the property’s CO2 emissions by as much as 90 per cent. The project is set to be completed by the end of November.
“By piloting new solutions, such as QHeat’s deep geothermal heat, and by scaling them into wider operating models, we are actively introducing new ways to reduce the environmental impacts of real estate in the industry. We are also continuously exploring possibilities to improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy in our properties. We are committed to reducing the climate emissions of real estate and to promoting energy efficiency, because real estate and construction produce approximately a third of Finland’s carbon footprint,” says Jani Nokkanen, partner at NREP.
Finland’s goal is to reduce emissions by at least 39 per cent from the 2005 level by the year 2030. With deep geothermal heat, emissions from real estate heating can be reduced by as much as 95 per cent compared to fossil fuels. If solutions such as deep geothermal heat can be scaled to even 5 per cent of Finland’s real estate stock, it would mean a reduction of half a million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, or four per cent of Finland’s emission target, according to QHeat’s calculations.
“A clean future lies beneath our feet. With deep geothermal heat, we can make good use of the warm summer months, because during the summer, we can store waste energy from cooling into the ground and then use it for heating in the winter. Deep geothermal energy has significant export potential as a solution that can mitigate climate change by reducing the emissions from heating and cooling on a global scale,” says Miska Eriksson, CEO of QHeat.
Qheat’s deep geothermal heat technology is patented and has been tested in cooperation with Finnish experts and universities. The project has received funding from Business Finland as part of the Smart Otaniemi initiative.
Logicenters is expanding at a greater rate than ever before. With a total of nine logistics facilities under development, the company is strengthening its position in the Nordic market significantly. The total area currently being developed by Logicenters amounts to a total of 227,000 m2, with several LOIs also having been signed.
Logicenters is a leading developer and owner of modern logistics facilities in the Nordic region. In August 2018, the total holding of logistics space amounted to 1.6 million m2. This figure continues to rise and Logicenters currently has nine ongoing development projects totalling 227,000 m2. Of these, six are in Sweden, two in Denmark and one in Finland. In addition, LOIs have been signed for an additional 210,000 m2, including a 110,000 m2 facility for Axfood in Bålsta, Sweden.
“I am incredibly proud of Logicenters’ success. It is thanks to a strong team and a unique operational flexibility that we have been able to grow at the pace we have. This current expansion is enabling us to increase our presence in important logistics hubs and a natural consequence of this is that we need further reinforcement of the team. We are now looking for project developers for several of our development projects,”says Matthias Kettelhoit, Commercial Head at Logicenters.
A sustainable focus
Sustainability is one facet of today’s Logicenters development projects. Energy-efficient solutions and solar panels on roofs are examples of recurring specifications in the construction of new properties. According to Logicenters’ Head of Development, Eva Sterner, the sustainability strategy is an important success factor.
“Reducing our carbon footprint to the greatest possible extent is of the utmost priority to us. Our sustainability strategy integrated in the logistics portfolio enables us to help our customers reach their climate goals, something that we know is appreciated. The great interest in our facilities is a confirmation that we maintain a high standard of development and we will continue to work to meet the functional and sustainable logistics needs of tomorrow,” says Eva Sterner, Head of Development at Logicenters.
Logicenters has now completed the further development of two existing facilities in Vantaa, Finland. The properties, with a total area of 22,000 m2, have been renovated both internally and externally in order to reduce CO2 emissions and meet the logistics needs of tomorrow. This modernisation has included new loading docks, an updated ventilation system aswell as the imminent installation of solar panels on the roof.
In May 2018, Logicenters began the further development of two properties on the samesite in Vantaa, Finland. The logistics facilities were modernised in order to meet the functional and sustainable logistics needs of tomorrow. The renovation of the properties, totalling 22,000 m2, has now been completed.
The properties have been equipped with new loading docks with modern specifications and the lighting has been replaced with energy-efficient LEDs. The surface layer of the walls has been renovated and the ventilation system updated. Solar panels will also be installed on the roof this summer.
“The facilities now comply with the market standards regarding sustainability, which makes us very proud. Energy efficiency has been a key word during this development, during which significant resources have been invested in reducing the properties’ environmental footprint. Logicenters has a clear strategy on sustainability and I am pleased that our property portfolio has become even more modern in connection with this project,” says Jarkko Äikää, Commercial Director, Logicenters in Finland.
The facilities are located at Manttaalitie 5–7, a strategically important location, in close proximity to the international airport, Helsinki and the E18 highway. The two properties house eight tenants, including Bufab Finland Oy, AB ME Group Oy Ltd and Logitri Oy.
Logicenters, the largest owner and developer of modern logistics properties in the Nordic region, will develop a modern manufacturing facility next to Huhtamäki’s logistics center in the Käikälä industrial park in Hämeenlinna, Finland. The facility is to become a true specimen of expertise in energy-efficient construction. The construction of the facility began in July 2018 and the facility will be completed during 2019.
Energy efficiency and sustainability have been taken widely into consideration in the design of the manufacturing facility. The aim in the heating of buildings is to achieve the most energy-efficient overall solution with geothermal energy as the main form of heating, supplemented by natural gas and the waste heat from the facility’s production process. In addition to utilizing the waste heat generated in the process in the heat recovery system, the heat can also be stored in the ground and effectively used in heating the property.
Investments into energy efficiency are also planned in the external structures and lighting of the property. Wall and ceiling airtightness will be designed to meet the standards of energy-efficient building technology, and the lighting, which will use LED technology, will be controlled by an intelligent lighting system that can adjust the lighting based on conditions, among other things. The lighting solution achieved can be up to 80 percent more energy-efficient than traditional fluorescent lighting. In addition, there are plans to build a 750 kWp solar power plant on the property, as well as an energy monitoring system that can be used to monitor the energy consumption of the facility at an hourly level in more than 10 measuring points.
“Buildings make up a huge amount of the total energy consumption in Finland. Sustainability is important to us in all our operations, and we are proud to bring new innovative solutions to energy-efficient construction,” says Jani Nokkanen, Partner at NREP.
The new manufacturing facility will replace Huhtamäki’s current facility, which was built in the 1960s. YIT Oy is the construction contractor in the project.
Logicenters, the leading owner and developer of modern logistics properties in the Nordics, acquires a 9,000 sqm property from a fund managed by Auratum Kiinteistöt Oy. Located in the Moreeni industrial area of Hämeenlinna, the property is leased out to Posti Kiinteistöt Oy.
The buyer of the property built in 2012 is Logicenters. Posti operates a distribution center in the property for rigid packaging solutions manufacturer Coveris Rigid Finland, which has a factory located cost-efficiently in the neighboring building.
A passageway connects the logistics center to the factory located next door, and the logistics process between the factory and warehouse is fully automated. Excess heat generated in the factory can also be utilized in the warehouse via the heat distribution system installed between the buildings.
– We are very pleased about the opportunity to expand our portfolio in Finland with this modern logistics property. The investment is well in line with Logicenters’ strategy of developing and acquiring modern logistics properties in good locations across the Nordics. With the acquisition, we are also expanding our cooperation with Posti to Hämeenlinna, says Antti Toropainen, Investment Manager at Logicenters.
The logistics center is situated in the Moreeni logistics and industrial area of Hämeenlinna, providing a central location at the intersection between Helsinki, Tampere, Turku and Lahti. The area, located at the intersection of major freeways, is well-suited for distribution centers. Several logistics companies, large manufacturers and wholesalers operate in the area. The logistics property can be expanded in the future if additional space is needed for distribution purposes.