Fortum investing EUR 40 million in new biomass heat plant in Espoo
In Finland, energy utility major Fortum Oyj has announced that it is investing EUR 40 million in a new biomass-fired heat plant in Kivenlahti, Espoo. The construction of the plant is a significant step towards carbon neutral district heating production in Espoo, as the plant will allow for the decommissioning of the old coal-fired boiler in Suomenoja.
According to a statement, the new facility will have a fuel rating of 49 MW, and its efficiency will be significantly improved with an efficient flue gas condenser, producing a maximum total heat output of up to 58 MW.
Construction of the new facility will start in November 2018, and heat production is scheduled to begin in 2020. The planned heat production of the facility is 350–380 GWh, which corresponds to the annual heat consumption of more than 21 000 homes. The new heating plant will be located in the area of the existing Kivenlahti facility, where two wood pellet boilers already produce district heat.
Our long-term goal is to generate district heating without combustible fuels. We are already using waste heat and decentralised heat production methods in our open district heating network. We also offer energy-efficiency solutions and are building a smart energy system that digitally interconnects energy producers and consumers. The development and expansion of these solutions will take time, however, and in the meantime, the new bio-heating facility will ensure reliable and more ecological heating for the people of Espoo, said Mikael Lemström, Vice President, Heating and Cooling at Fortum.
Using clean wood-based fuels, the new facility will increase the share of renewable energy used in Espoo’s district heating network by about 60 percent. The carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated by burning fossil fuels will be reduced by up to 90 000 tonnes per annum, which is about 14 percent of the current CO2 emissions created by district heating production in Espoo.
Fortum and the City of Espoo take joint responsibility for district heating in Espoo, and have made a joint commitment to sustainable development by working together to make district heating in Espoo carbon-neutral by the end of the next decade.
Carbon-neutral heating is the most important single factor in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Espoo. The goal of the City of Espoo is to develop solutions that also have broader significance in combating climate change. We are pleased that with this facility Fortum and the City of Espoo can take a major leap towards our common goal of greenhouse gas-free district heating, said Pasi Laitala, Director of Sustainable Development in Espoo.