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Utilitas opens third biomass-fired combined heat and power plant in Tallinn

In Estonia, AS Utilitas Tallinn, a subsidiary of Utilitas Energy Group has officially opened a new biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) station in Mustamäe, Tallinn. It is the third Utilitas CHP station in Tallinn that operates on biomass and will supply heat to approximately 20 000 households in Tallinn while its electric power capacity will cover the supply-demand of approximately 40 000 households that use district heating.

The new Utilitas Tallinn Mustamäe biomass-fired 47 MWth and 10 MWe combined heat and power (CHP) plant is the third biomass CHP in Tallinn, Estonia to be commissioned by the Utilitas Energy Group (photo courtesy Utilitas Energy Group).

The new 47 MWth and 10 MWe CHP plant was officially opened on November 5, 2020, with the attendance dignitaries including the Estonian Minister of Economy and Infrastructure Taavi Aas.

Estonia requires big investments in order to reduce its CO2 footprint while at the same time offering consumers heating and electric energy produced in an efficient way. The new combined heat and power station of Utilitas is yet another sign of successful application of renewable energy which contributes to the security of energy supply in any situation, said Minister Taavi Aas.

Head of the Utilitas Energy Group Priit Koit remarked on the environmental and energy security aspects of the new plant.

The use of the renewable fuel at the new station will prevent the emission of a large number, 130 000 tonnes of CO2 during the production of energy, and the station will allow the reduction of the emission rate of Estonia. Additionally, the combined heat and power station is an important step towards the assurance of security of supply and energy security of Estonia. In the future, the station will serve as the main source of electricity for the entire production facility in Mustamäe, and it will help to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels, explained Priit Koit.

Koit added that the combined heat and power method is the most efficient way of production of heat and electricity, as the high-efficiency level of the station means that it does not heat the air – instead, the entire energy is directed to the heating and electric power network.

The third combined heat and power station of Utilitas is an important object from the position of security of supply in Tallinn, as it can be operated as an independent island should this become necessary. This means that during possible electric power cuts the station will be able to continue operation, supplying city residents with heat, noted Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Kalle Klandorf.

The technological part of the station was designed and installed by the Austrian company Urbas Energietechnik, part of Urbas Maschinenfabrik GmbH, and the steam turbine was manufactured in Germany and supplied by MAN Energy Solutions SE. The main contractor in charge of general construction works was the local Estonian company AS Maru Ehitus.

Originally launched in 2013, the total cost of the investment for the project is EUR 48 million. In 2019 Utilitas Energy Group is investing EUR 40 million to ensure energy production efficiency and protection of the environment, including the renewal and construction of heating networks.

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