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Latvian dairy switches from gas to biomass

In early December, A/S Preiļu siers, one of the largest dairy processing companies in Latvia, officially inaugurated its new 8 MW biomass-fuelled steam boiler unit in Preiļi, Latvia. The boiler plant was designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned by the Lithuanian biomass combustion technology providers UAB Enerstena, a company that has in recent years stepped-up its activities to introduce its technology to Poland, France, the Ukraine and Belarus.

The boiler plant was designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned UAB Enerstena (photo courtesy Enerstena).

The boiler plant was designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned UAB Enerstena (photo courtesy Enerstena).

The inauguration ceremony for the new process steam boiler facility in Latvia was officiated by Jānis Dūklavs, Minister of Agriculture for Latvia, together with Jāzeps Šņepsts, Director and Chairman of the Board for Preiļu siers, and Marius Dubininkas, Commercial Director and a Member of the Board for Enerstena. Taking just over six months to complete, the EUR 2.55 million project also included the construction work along with all commissioning and installation activities.

The plant consists of an 8 MW steam boiler, a 10 MW Calidum Ember biomass furnace, a 960 kW dry-type economiser, a multi-cyclone, fuel storage in-feed and ash removal systems. The new facilities will enable the use of low-grade wood chip fuel and process steam will be supplied for manufacturing at the site as well as to a steam turbine for power production. In addition, the existing boiler house was reconstructed and a new fuel storage facility was built, as well as a new open site for fuel storage, a fuel truck weighing scales, roads to the storage area and storage site equipment.

Half the costs

Prompted by the increase in fuel prices, the Latvian dairy processors decided to find a more economical and environmentally friendly way to obtain their required energy. The company has calculated that by replacing fossil gas with biomass, it could cut its energy cost at the facility by almost 50 percent. The existing gas boilers have been left as a reserve and backup.

The increasing price of gas is forcing a number of companies to seriously look at alternatives. We are always glad to help not only companies involved in the generation and supply of heat, but also industrial companies to reduce their energy production costs, said Virginijus Ramanauskas, General Manager for Enerstena.

Moreover, according to Ramanauskas, by reducing the consumption of fossil fuels there is a contribution to climate mitigation.

Not only is there an economic benefit to these companies, but also a benefit to society thanks to the reduction of environmental pollution, explained Ramanauskas.

It has been calculated that the new biomass plant will produce about 51 200 MWh (≈184 320 GJ) of energy annually, displacing the equivalent of 6.4 million Nm3 of fossil gas thus avoiding around 10 500 tonnes per annum of fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Numerous industrial projects

Several similar projects, whereby process- and manufacturing industries have restructured their energy supply by investing into biomass-fuelled boilers, have been completed by Enerstena in the region over the last 24 months; a 10 MW steam boiler plant with flue gas condenser for AB Grikiškės; a 9 MW steam boiler unit for UAB Plungės kooperatinė prekyba; a 4 MW boiler unit for AB Snaigė, a 10 MW boiler plant for Žemaitijos pienas and a 3.5 MW steam boiler plant with a dry-type economiser is currently being completed for AB Vilniaus degtinė.

We have developed our own technology and project specific solutions; we have established a Research and Development Centre and we have gathered the most powerful team of professionals in the industry so that we can design and manufacture biomass-fuelled boilers, condensing economisers, furnaces and other technological equipment for turnkey energy solutions. All of this allows us to offer our clients the most efficient energy production solutions, remarked a notably proud Marius Dubininkas, Commercial Director, Enerstena during the opening.

This article was first published in Bioenergy International no. 1-2016. Note that as a magazine subscriber you get access to the e-magazine and articles like this before the print edition reaches your desk!

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