Valio inaugurate new biomass steam boiler with expanded load range
Finland-headed dairy major Valio Oy has inaugurated a new biomass steam boiler plant at its Jyväskylä production facility in south-central Finland. Supplied by compatriots KPA Unicon Oy in cooperation with Vapo Oy, the 6 MW capacity unit uses locally sourced biomass to supply both process steam and space heating for the plant.
With the new installation, most of the heating energy needed by the dairy and the steam required by its production are generated with local fuels. In addition to heat recovered in the process, the heating of the properties relies partly on district heating.
The new boiler plant in Jyväskylä will increase production reliability and the capacity for steam generation. Solid domestic fuels will improve the supply security of the milk processing chain, while the use will reduce the dairy’s carbon footprint. The investment will also increase employment in the facility’s operation, maintenance and fuel chain. This year, the Jyväskylä dairy has also made significant improvements in the utilization of heat recovered from production equipment, thereby reducing the dairy’s primary energy consumption, said Jukka Partti, Plant Director of Valio Jyväskylä dairy.
The old heavy fuel oil (HFO) boilers will be converted into peak load and auxiliary boilers running on light fuel oil (LFO) and the facility as a whole will reduce its fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by almost one-third of the previous level.
The plant which was inaugurated September 1, was announced by biomass combustion technology providers KPA Unicon Oy (then known as Renewa) in cooperation with Vapo Oy in April 2016 and, according to KPA Unicon, the project was completed earlier than planned.
The scope of KPA Unicon’s work included design, manufacture, and delivery of fuel reception system, biomass steam boiler, flue gas cleaning system and buildings. The design and manufacturing of the plant were carried out mainly in Finland. The boiler plant’s automation system and steam accumulator, designed to ensure process steam production, were delivered by Vapo.
BFB with expanded load range
The biomass steam boiler utilizes Unicon ReneFluid technology based on bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) combustion, which enables the efficient and environmentally friendly use of local renewable fuels. The plant’s boiler capacity is 6 MW and it produces both process steam and heat for the dairy.
New technology has also been applied to design and manufacture the plant, which has significantly expanded the load range of the boiler as food production requires continuous and uninterrupted heat and steam production.
– For this reason, reliability got a priority in the design and implementation of the plant. The new thermal power plant is equipped with the most modern automation, the plant is monitored from 24-hour control center located in Vantaa, and we also have hired an operations engineer in the Jyväskylä area to ensure, if necessary, physical presence as quickly as possible. In addition, a steam accumulator is installed at the plant so that the plant can react as swiftly and flexible as possible to fluctuations in steam needs of the dairy, said Vesa Tempakka, Managing Director of Vapo Oy.
Valio’s Jyväskylä dairy is the latest facility within the group to phase out the use of fossil fuel in its production process and, according to the company, is part of its corporate sustainability programme. The previous such an investment was the boiler plant of the Oulu dairy in 2016.
In 2016, solid domestic fuels accounted for 72 percent of Valio’s heat production. With the boiler investments made in Oulu and Jyväskylä, the proportion will rise to nearly 80 percent.
– Vapo and KPA Unicon signed a contract for the supply of Valio’s steam boiler plant in spring 2016. As part of the cooperation contract, KPA Unicon designed and implemented the development of Unicon ReneFluid technology to support Valio’s steam needs with the widest possible power range and rapid response to load changes. We are very pleased with the trust we have gained from Vapo and Valio and we believe that the inaugurated plant will meet the needs of Vapo and Valio for years to come. This is also an excellent reference for us in food processing and other process industry markets, said Kari Liukko, KPA Unicon’s Director of Energy Business Unit.