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Go for Göteborg Energi’s biomass-boiler investment

Go for Göteborg Energi’s biomass-boiler investment
An artist's rendering of the new biomass-fired steam boiler plant that will have a visually prominent position in Gothenburg's harbor entrance. The design has been developed together with the City of Gothenburg through amongst other things, an architectural competition (image courtesy Göteborg Energi).

In Sweden, municipal energy utility Göteborg Energi AB has announced that it will go ahead and invest SEK 2.53 billion (≈ EUR 217.88 million) in a new biomass-fired steam boiler plant as part of its transition to phase out the remaining fossil fuels in the Gothenburg district heating system.

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In 2020, Göteborg Energi raised its climate ambitions and decided that all district heating must be based on renewable and recycled energy sources by the end of 2025 at the latest.

A new biomass-fired steam boiler plant to be sited in the Rya area is seen as the single most important measure to achieve the goal. With the Final Investment Decision (FID) now taken by the board, and procurement of the project’s key technology already in place, this will become a reality.

This is a milestone for us and for the city’s climate transition. I am both happy and proud that in a short time, we are ready to take this last step in the conversion of district heating. With the new facility, we become independent of natural gas and can offer our customers 100 percent renewable and recycled district heating. We also increase the security of supply, add a new source for local electricity production, and strengthen the competitiveness of district heating, commented Per-Anders Gustafsson, CEO of Göteborg Energi.

Aligned with climate ambitions

The phasing out of fossil fuel usage in the district heating system is part of the City of Gothenburg’s environmental and climate program.

The base fuel sources for the city’s district heating are recycled residual heat from industry and waste incineration in combination with biomass fuels.

In order to rid its dependence on fossil fuels, Göteborg Energi implements several different measures.

The new biomass-fired steam boiler in Rya is the most important piece of the puzzle, but among other things, we have also built a new bio-based hot water boiler in the Rya area and a new district heating line from Mölndal, where we get bio-based district heating into the southern part of the network. Other measures such as new digitization tools are also important, commented Per-Anders Gustafsson.

Flexibility provides security

The new biomass-fired steam boiler plant will be integrated with Göteborg Energi’s existing Rya cogeneration plant facility.

To be supplied by Valmet, the new boiler plant is estimated to contribute 156 MW of heat and 39 MW of electricity to the local energy system.

The plant is flexible and can run on several different types of biomass fuels although chipped logging residues (aka forest chips or “GROT”) and recycled wood (RT chips) from the region will be the main fuels used.

Raumaster has been selected as the supplier of the external fuel handling system while Veidekke Entreprenad will carry out the ground works.

If all goes according to plan, the facility will be put into operation during the 2025/2026 heating season. Once operational, this means that the total capacity of the Rya plant will be 465 MW of heat and 260 MW of electricity.

The Rya cogeneration plant plays an important role in Sweden’s electricity supply. By integrating the new boiler with our existing plant, we gain great flexibility, not least in terms of fuels. With the new facility in place, our system can handle almost all fuels on the market, which is a security for the city and the citizens of Gothenburg, ended Per-Anders Gustafsson.

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