Pohjolan Voima´s Laanilan Voima power plant in Oulu, Northern Finland

The investment amounting to nearly EUR 4,000,000 in the Laanilan Voima power plant will increase the share of wood-based fuels to 50% of all the fuels used in the power plant and make it possible to replace peat with by-products from the sawmill industry. The update will reduce the plant’s current sulphur emissions by more than 30%.

The Laanilan Voima power plant in Oulu has produced process steam, district heat and electricity by burning mainly peat. Peat has amounted to 75% of the fuels used in the plant.

In 2019, the company decided to invest in a Pyroflow boiler grate, new fuel silo and conveyors. Thanks to the investments, the share of wood-based fuels can be significantly increased at the plant.  In addition, small amounts of recycled wood will be burnt in the boiler.

“Our objective is to double the share of solid biofuels. Under favourable operating conditions, their share could amount to 80%. Previously, we have burnt approximately 130,000 tons of peat per year. Now, the use of peat will decrease at least by 25%,” says managing director Pekka Törmänen from Laanilan Voima.

The investment in Laanilan Voima is part of Pohjolan Voima’s objective to achieve carbon neutrality. The company aims to make electricity production 99% carbon-neutral by 2025. The carbon neutrality target set to heat production is 85% by 2025. 

Ash will be used as forest fertiliser

The new fuel silo built at the power plant and the Pyroflow fluid bed boiler have been modernised and upgraded so that wood-based fuels can be burnt there. The modernised boiler and auxiliary equipment will be tested at the beginning of November when the power plant begins to increasingly burn wood-based fuels. They have been preparing for the transition for a long time. According to Pekka Törmänen, they will be able to get wood within 100 kilometres from the power plant.

In the future, Laanilan Voima will mainly use by-products of wood processing, such as sawdust and cutter chips, as their solid biofuels.

“We are going to use by-products of the sawmills located in the vicinity of the power plant to produce heat and electricity in energy production. With the help of this investment, we are also able to use wood chips produced from first-thinning wood,” says Törmänen.

According to Pekka Törmänen, the changes to the combustion process are made to anticipate tightening environmental permit conditions.

“Our sulphur emissions will decrease by more than 30%, and as a result, we will be able to meet the new requirements,” Törmänen says.

With the increase of the share of wood-based fuels at Laanilan Voima, it will be possible to use ash from power plants as forest fertiliser.

“The change will make it possible to increase the use of ash in accordance with the principles of the circular economy. At the moment, all ash is harnessed for use, but it is used in earth work,” says Pekka Törmänen.

Additional information:
Pekka Törmänen, Managing director of Laanilan Voima Oy,
tel. +358 50 3038 656

Laanilan Voima power plant

  • The power plant produces process steam, district heat and electricity for the Laanila industrial district, as well as Oulu Energia Ltd. The company is fully owned by Pohjolan Voima.
  • The power plant’s heat generation capacity is 145 MW and electricity generation capacity 30 MW.
  • At the Laanilan Voima power plant, they have replaced the Pyroflow boiler grate, changed air distribution and built a new fuel silo with conveyors to receive wood-based fuels.
  • The Laanilan Voima power plant consists of several boilers. Oulu Energia Ltd’s Laanila eco power plant and the Laanilan Voima power plant produce steam to the same steam system. The steam is then turned into heat and electricity with turbines. The plants operate in the same combine. Oulu Energia Ltd’s Laanila Eco power plant is a waste combustion plant run and maintained by Laanilan Voima Oy.