Adven Sweden – from local startup into energy group in five years
Adven is originally a Finnish energy company established in the 1980s. In 2014, Adven entered the Swedish market. Back then, we were a small company with four employees offering geoenergy solutions.
Today, we have grown into a full-scope service provider of sustainable energy and water solutions. We have customers in more than 40 localities in Sweden, and our clientele consists of municipalities, real estate and industrial companies, and private persons. A strong customer focus and an ever-present sustainability push are constant cornerstones of our business.
The first step in the Swedish market was to acquire the geoenergy startup Eco2Energy. Since the beginning of 2010, Eco2Energy has supplied heating and cooling based on environmentally sound technology with its own tailor-made geoenergy plants to offices and residential buildings. Through the acquisition, we gained valuable expertise in the geoenergy segment. At the same time, we saw the opportunity to offer Adven’s customer-specific energy solutions to Swedish industry.
The geoenergy company expands into industrial energy and district heating
The year after, Eco2Energy changed its name to Adven. To expand our operations, we acquired Enycon, a district heating company that owned and operated smaller bio-based district heating networks across the country. Enycon’s customer segments ranged from tulip farming in the south to hotel businesses in the north.
Our first partner agreement in the industrial segment was signed in the summer of 2015, involving heat production for a Swedish dairy company. It was a natural and logical step as we had long-standing experience from the dairy industry in Finland, for instance through our customer Valio.
New owners value long-term approach and sustainability
In December 2015, our owner at the time EQT Infrastructure sold the whole Adven Group to the long-term investment funds AMP Capital and Infracapital, ready to take us to the next level. At the same time, we expanded both organically and through minor acquisitions. We entered into agreements on, for example, Recovery solutions for the pharmaceuticals industry while the geoenergy operations grew with new customers, including several shopping centres in Stockholm.
In 2017, Ilkka Niiranen was appointed CEO at Adven Sweden. When taking on this new challenge, Ilkka, who had previously worked with business development and investments at Adven in Finland, had the following to say: “From the potential I saw when we acquired Eco2Energy to the incredible development we have today, it feels fantastic to join the company and take it to the next level”.
Acquisition of E.ON company strengthens our presence in the country
In 2017, Adven also acquired E.ON Värme Lokala Energilösningar AB (EVLE), which consisted of nine district heating networks and around 30 industrial solutions. The large number of plants and growing workforce created a strong platform for national growth. The acquisition of EVLE led to an increase of 300% in the number of personnel. Today, Adven Sweden has approximately 100 employees, serving close to 4,000 customers.
The acquisition of EVLE consisted of, among other things, the district heating operations in Mora. It made us a natural choice as a supplier for the Vasaloppet ski race event. Sustainability is important for Vasaloppet, and that is why the heating of the fair tent was converted to fossil-free and renewable heating. We place great importance on local engagement, which is why we have put a lot of effort into building good relationships with both the Vasaloppet organisation and the citizens of Mora.
Platform for growth and impact
Today, we have a solid platform to build on and we can fully implement our strategy. Our latest acquisition in the district heating segment is a small network located in Råssla outside Norrköping, which we can operate from our plant in Boxholm. Thanks to our existing competence combined with new recruitments, we can also carry out larger projects, such as the energy supply to Arctic Paper’s paper mill in Munkedal.
The sustainability aspect is always at the core of our discussions, regardless of customer segment. In smaller localities, our customers mainly have district heating networks, supplying renewable and resource-efficient heat to the residents. Our solutions for industrial companies are primarily geared towards reducing the input of resources and minimising our customers’ climate impacts. The more problems arise from climate change, the smarter and more sustainable solutions we must supply.
The future must be circular
Nowadays, primary production in Swedish industry is mostly green. Despite this, production processes still generate waste, spills, by-products and wastewater that can – and should – be utilised for the benefit of both the climate and the economy. When energy is fossil-free, the issue of increasing fuel efficiency needs to be raised: how can we ensure that our own residues, such as fuel and water in the processes, are used optimally to create added value?
Ilkka Niiranen sees great opportunities in the major challenges that we will face in the future: “There is a clear need for full-scope solutions for energy and water as a service, because such large investments are costly for individual players. We look forward to continuing to grow in Sweden by investing in solutions that will help private and corporate customers to reduce their impact both on the local environment and the climate. The next step for Adven Sweden will be to grow in the industry segment, particularly to meet the growing demand for water treatment solutions. We have also entered into co-operation with the Norwegian company Biokraft, an investment which we see as the first step in our entry into the Norwegian market.”