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Valmet to supply a flue gas condenser to Helen’s Vuosaari bioheat plant

Finland-headed energy and forest industry technology provider Valmet Oyj has announced that it will supply a flue gas condensing plant to Helen Oy’s Vuosaari C bioenergy heating plant in Helsinki, Finland. The new bioenergy heating plant will feature very high energy efficiency, as the heat from flue gases will be recovered to increase district heat production by 69 MW with Valmet’s advanced environmental technology.

Currently consisting of two gas-fired combined-cycle units, Helen’s Vuosaari combined heat and power (CHP) plant (580 MWth, 630 MWe) provide a major part of electricity and district heat in Helsinki. As part of the replacement of the soon to be closed Hanasaari coal-fired CHP, Helen is planning for a 250 MWth biomass-fired unit (shown in white above) at the Vuosaari site along with other investments in heat recovery and storage (image courtesy Helen).

One of the largest energy companies in Finland, Helen produces and sells electricity, district heating, and district cooling primarily in the greater Helsinki area. Furthermore, it offers solutions for regional and renewable energy, smart housing and electric mobility.

Helen’s target is to achieve 100 percent carbon neutrality in its energy production by 2035.

Valmet’s delivery consists of a flue gas condensing plant and condensate treatment equipment, including a boiler make-up water production system. The flue gas condensing plant will be handed over to Helen in December 2022.

Our company’s target is to be carbon neutral by 2035. As the flue gases after combustion are led to the condensing plant, it is possible to utilize the fuel to its fullest. The heat recovery at the Vuosaari plant will increase plant efficiency to about 122 percent based on the fuel’s effective heating value, said Antti Saikkonen, Project Director, Helen Oy.

Flue gas from the bioenergy heating plant’s circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler is recovered by condensing flue gas moisture in a wet scrubber. Flue gas moisture is increased by moisturizing the combustion air going into the boiler. Heat recovery increases district heat production by an additional 69 MW, which is over 30 percent of the fuel heat input based on the effective heating value.

Flue gas condensate from the process is treated and utilized as raw water at the boiler plant and as boiler make-up water after demineralizing.

The exceptionally high heat recovery is achieved by using absorption heat pumps to cool down the scrubber water and by cooling the flue gas going into the stack to below 12 Celsius. The absorption heat pumps use low-pressure steam as the driving media instead of electricity, explained Risto Hämäläinen, Director, Environmental Systems, Pulp and Energy, Valmet.

Although the value of the order has not been disclosed, Valmet says that the value of these types of orders is approximately EUR 20–30 million.

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