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Helen inaugurate Finland’s largest pellet-fired boiler

Finland-based energy utility Helen Oy has officially inaugurated its Salmisaari heat plant, the largest wood pellet-fired boiler in Finland. A recently held ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 92 MW district heat plant was presided over by the Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori. "Helsinki is strongly committed to mitigating climate change. Carbon neutrality requires us to be a bold trailblazer and for all sectors to reduce their emissions," said Mayor Vapaavuori in his address.

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Held February 14, the ribbon cutting ceremony of Helen’s new wood pellet-fired heating plant in Salmisaari, Helsinki was presided over by the Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori (right) with Pekka Manninen, CEO, Helen. The 92 MW district heat plant is the largest pellet-fired boiler in Finland (photo courtesy Katri Tamminen / Helen Oy).

The Salmisaari pellet-fired heating plant is a significant project to increase renewable energy in Helen’s energy production. Coal is being replaced by biofuels, but a climate-neutral future also needs other solutions, said Pekka Manninen, CEO of Helen.

Manninen highlighted that the new 92 MW Salmisaari heat plant represents solid Finnish competence: the degree of domestic origin in the heating plant project is over 80 percent. The main fuel of the Salmisaari pellet-fired heating plant is wood pellets, which are pulverized before feeding into the boiler.

At full fuel capacity, the pellet consumption of the heating plant is about 21 tonnes per hour, i.e. one lorryload of pellets in two hours. The fuel is sourced from sustainable sources in Finland and overseas and the plant will boost Finnish employment also in the future in the manufacture and logistics of pellets.

Additional biomass heat plants planned

As previously reported, Helen is planning to build other new biomass heating plants in Helsinki. Biomass heating plants together with heat pumps and energy storage will replace the use of coal and meet the expanding city’s demand for district heat.

The planned areas are in Vuosaari, Patola and Tattarisuo. These will be implemented in stages to replace the heat production of the coal-fired Hanasaari combined heat and power (CHP) plant, which will be decommissioned in 2024 according to plan. By that time, one to two new heating plants will have to be completed.

The Salmisaari pellet-fired heating plant inaugurated today is a perfect example of using renewable energy in the city’s heat production, said Mayor Vapaavuori.

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