The bioenergy programme
During the last 20 years, Pohjolan Voima and its shareholders have built 70 per cent of the new bioelectricity production capacity in Finland. The fifteenth bioenergy plant belonging to Pohjolan Voima’s bioenergy programme will be built in Hämeenkyrö. In 2010, new bioenergy plants were inaugurated in Lappeenranta and Kerava. An increase in the use of bioenergy is under consideration in existing power plants as well.
Newest bioenergy plant will be built in Hämeenkyrö
Pohjolan Voima, Leppäkosken Sähkö and M-real have agreed to build a new bioenergy plant in Hämeenkyrö at M-real’s Kyro industrial site. The Hämeenkyrö bioenergy plant is Pohjolan Voima’s fifteenth bioenergy plant project. Construction work is planned to begin in the spring of 2011, and the plant will be completed in autumn 2012. Its electricity production capacity will be 12 MW and thermal energy production capacity 55 MW, and its main consumers are M-real’s Kyro mill and the customers of Leppäkosken Sähkö. The cost of the project is estimated to be € 50 million.
The bioenergy plant project involves constructing a new boiler unit and the associated fuel reception and handling systems. The new boiler unit will be situated near the existing mill power plant, using existing equipment to the largest possible extent.
The fuels to be used in the new plant include wood chips and other wood-based fuels, as well as peat as an auxiliary fuel. Once the Hämeenkyrö bioenergy plant is completed, it will replace energy production based on natural gas, which is a fossil fuel, and increase the use of Finnish energy sources in the region.
Kaukaan Voima Power Plant – a major bioenergy consumer
Kaukaan Voima’s bioenergy plant, a joint venture between Pohjolan Voima, Lappeenrannan Energia and UPM, was inaugurated in May 2010. The plant is located at UPM’s Kaukas paper mill site in Lappeenranta. It produces process steam and electricity for UPM's Kaukas mill, and electricity and district heat for Lappeenrannan Energia.
Kaukaan Voima’s bioenergy plant is the largest bioenergy consumer in Finland. Its fuels include bark, wood fuels and peat. The plant’s capacity is 125 MW for electricity, 110 MW for district heat and 150 MW for process steam.
Bioenergy programme introduced to the Helsinki region in Kerava
Kerava bioenergy plant, a joint venture between Pohjolan Voima and Keravan Energia, was inaugurated in March 2010. This meant that Pohjolan Voima’s bioenergy programme was extended up to the Helsinki region for the first time. The new power plant produces electricity and district heat for the City of Kerava and process heat for local industry.
The power plant is fuelled by wood fuels and peat. In terms of energy production in the area, the plant contributes to an increase in the use of Finnish energy sources and to a partial replacement of fossil-based natural gas. The capacity of Kerava bioenergy plant is 21 MW for electricity, 48 MW for district heat and 10 MW for process heat.
Biomass gasification under consideration
The construction of two biofuel gasifiers is under consideration in Vaasa and Kristiinankaupunki. The gas generated would then be burned with coal in the coal boiler. The aim is to replace coal with Finnish energy sources and, at the same time, contribute to a decrease in the carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
Biomass gasification is a new technology developed in Finland which has not been used before on the scale now being planned. Pohjolan Voima and EPV Energia are planning the construction of a 130-MW biogasifier near the coal-fired power station owned by Vaskiluodon Voima, an affiliate of Pohjolan Voima. With the gasifier, up to 25 to 40 per cent of the present consumption of coal could be replaced. Also under consideration is the construction of another gasification plant, which would be built near Kristiina power plant’s coal boiler and have a fuel power of approximately 100 MW. This plant would be fired by biofuels and peat. The gasification plant would replace between 20 and 50 per cent of current coal consumption.
In 2010, the Vaskiluoto power plant was granted an environmental permit, allowing it to start using biogas. At Kristiina power plant, applications have been submitted for an environmental permit for a similar gasification plant, and also for a new multi-fuel boiler that could replace the old oil-fired condensing power plant altogether.
Studies underway on torrefying biomass into biocoal
Pohjolan Voima and Helsingin energia are studying the manufacturing possibilities and usability of torrefied wood-based biomass at coal-fired power plants. Through a process called torrefaction, it is possible to turn wood-based biomass into carbon-neutral biocoal that can be used in existing coal-fired plants without further processing.