Kruunuvuori öljyluolat

Kruunuvuori oil caves as heat storage for a new residential area

Kruunuvuori oil caves as heat storage for a new residential area

Utilization of solar energy bound to seawater in the summer months as thermal energy in heating the houses in winter in a new residential area is a cost-effective and climate friendly solution. However, such system requires large empty spaces for storing the warm seawater for the winter months. Such caves, formerly used in diesel oil storage, exist in the upcoming Kruunuvuorenranta neighbourhood in Helsinki. Before use, the residual oil in rock fractures and groundwater need to be remediated.

Kruunuvuorenranta was formerly an oil port, but today a large new maritime residential area is being built in the area.

In connection with the former oil port, large rock caves have been excavated in the bedrock under the upcoming residential area. Although the caves have been emptied and cleaned, residual oil is still seeping into the groundwater in the caves. Before reusing the caves, the oil must be remediated, so that the environment is not endangered when the caves are emptied during winters.

In a pilot study in cooperation with Finnish Environment Institute it was shown that the oil was degraded rapidly in seawater treatment, suggesting that the natural microbiota is capable of oil remediation. The project has now moved on to the next phase, where the caves are filled with seawater for thermal energy. During the process, AFRY is monitoring the air released from the caves and the water that is pumped through the heat exchanger to the sea.

Project information

  • Client: Helen Oy and Skanska Talonrakennus Oy
  • Project: Utilization of Baltic Sea microbes in the clean-up of oil caves, air and water monitoring
  • Time: 2018–
  • Location: Helsinki
  • AFRY's role: research, implementation of a pilot test, monitoring the air and water released from the caves


Milja Vepsäläinen - Contaminated areas, Environment Finland

Milja Vepsäläinen

Contaminated areas, Environment Finland

Contact Milja Vepsäläinen

For sales enquiries, please complete this form. For all other enquiries, please visit our office and contacts page here.