Kymin Voima’s biopower plant has made preparations for the winter. Fuel levels are good for the winter, the plant has been serviced thoroughly and the forest residuals crusher, which was damaged in the small fire at the beginning of October, will be back in operation soon.
- “Heat and electricity are mostly needed in winter for district heating networks and UPM’s operations. We are well-prepared for the coming peak load”, says Antti Rainio, managing director of Kymin Voima.
During the summer, the power plant underwent annual maintenance as planned. All items critical to the functioning of the plant were checked and serviced.
- “We ensure that the power plant will operate without interruptions by servicing it and by predicting maintenance needs. Fuel management is part of predictive maintenance. There will be plenty of solid biofuels in storage in midwinter, even if there are delivery problems”, says Rainio.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the operation or servicing of the plant. Hygiene, masks and social distancing are efficient ways to mitigate the risk of being exposed to the virus. We emphasise these measures because the production of heat and electricity is critical from the perspective of customers and society.
More than 90% of fuel is carbon-neutral
The fuel that Kymin Voima uses is nearly 100% bio-based, i.e. by-products from the forest industry, in practice. The by-products are mainly bark from UPM’s pulp mill in Kymi and logging waste.
- “We receive bark from the mill throughout the year. Conveyors deliver it directly to the power plant. In summer, we store it in large stacks for winter. Bark is covered the same way people cover their firewood. The scale is different, of course”, says Rainio.
The biopower plant was taken into use in 2002. The long-term target was that more than 75% of fuels would be carbon-neutral. During the first year, approximately 60% of the fuels used at the power plant were carbon-neutral. As a result of systematic work, more than 90% of the fuels used at the plant are carbon-neutral.
- “In addition to bark, we need forest energy and peat as extra fuel in exceptional situations and at times of peak load to ensure continuous operations. We also use gas as backup fuel. Kymin Voima’s Board of Directors is considering means to achieve carbon neutrality in the coming years.
Minor damage from the fire
At the beginning of October, wood fuel was stuck in the forest residuals crusher of the plant, which caused a fire. First-aid extinguishing was efficient, and the fire was restricted to a very small area. Nobody was injured, and the fire caused only minor financial damage. A part of the unburnt conveyor belt must be replaced.
- “Usually, we only need the crusher in midwinter. It will be in operation soon. The fire was started by friction when wood was stuck in the crusher. We have discussed with the machine manufacturer and our personnel how to avoid similar cases occurring again in future”, says Rainio.
Antti Rainio, managing director, Kymin Voima Oy, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 40 7033 815
Kymin Voima is a subsidiary of Pohjolan Voima. It has a biopower plant at the UPM Kymi mill in the Kuusankoski area in Kouvola. The power plant produces process steam for the UPM Kymi integrated mill and district heat for KSS Energia, as well as electricity. The personnel of UMP Kymi are in charge of operating the power plant. Kymin Voima is owned by Pohjolan Voima Oyj (76%) and KSS Energia Oy (24%).