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Keitele Energy selects KPA Unicon for biomass boiler plant upgrade

In Finland, Keitele Energy Oy, part of Keitele Group has reached an agreement with compatriot combustion technology providers KPA Unicon, a Partnera Group company, to modernize the existing biomass boiler plant at the Keitele Timber sawmill, which is located in Keitele, Northern Savonia.

In Finland, Keitele Energy Oy, part of Keitele Group has reached an agreement with compatriot combustion technology providers KPA Unicon, a Partnera Group company, to modernize the existing biomass boiler plant at Keitele Timber sawmill, which is located in Keitele, Northern Savonia (photo courtesy Keitele Group).

Founded in 1981, Keitele Group is a family-run business that has grown into one of Finland’s larger privately held mechanical wood processing companies with log procurement, and wood processing activities in Keitele, Alajärvi, and Kemijärvi.

Keitele Group consists of three independent companies: the parent company Keitele Forest Oy, which is also responsible for wood procurement, the sawmill company Keitele Timber Oy, and the wood products manufacturer Keitele Wood Products Oy.

Keitele Timber mainly produces pine and spruce sawn timber, with exports accounting for 94 percent of production in 2020. The boiler modernization project at Keitele Timber will enable cleaner energy production and modernize the plant’s automation and other systems.

The heat generated by the new energy system will be used to dry the timber produced by the sawmill. As a fuel, the plant will utilize the by-products of the sawmill, such as sawdust and shavings, as well as bark, woodchips, and milled peat.

The modernization project will be implemented in 2022.

The solution delivered to Keitele consists of intelligent and environmentally friendly clean energy solutions. The investment helps our partner to operate efficiently, effectively, and responsibly. For KPA Unicon, this is the ninth plant delivery to Keitele Group, said Jukka-Pekka Kovanen, Managing Director of KPA Unicon.

Enable capacity increase

The new energy system is based on a 15 MWth Unicon Renefluid fluidized bed boiler technology, which the company says combines the “highest efficiency on the market, low operating costs, a very wide range of fuels, and fast load change capability.”

The new boiler replaces the existing 7.5 MW fluidized bed boiler (FBB) installed in 1994.

With the investment, we will enable us to increase the production capacity of the Keitele sawmill in 2022. We constantly want to invest in efficient and modern technology that enables energy-efficient operations and reduces the environmental impact of our operations, said Ilkka Kylävainio, Managing Director, Keitele Energy Oy.

As part of the energy system, KPA Unicon will supply the boiler, auxiliary equipment, and an Unicon Bag filter flue gas cleaning system. The Unicon Bag filter is an effective way to filter out hazardous particles from the flue gas keeping local air emissions to a minimum.

In addition, KPA Unicon is responsible for the recycling and modification of the existing equipment and modernization of the control and automation system as part of the overall delivery.

The system will be connected to KPA Unicon’s comprehensive PlantSys digital platform, which allows remote control of the energy production. The platform provides digitalization of maintenance reporting and automatic data collection, which improve the plant’s efficiency and usability, ended Jukka-Pekka Kovanen.

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