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Versowood invests in bioheat plant upgrade

Versowood invests in bioheat plant upgrade
Located in Otava, Eastern Finland, Versowood's Otava sawmill is a spruce mill with an annual production capacity of approximately 275 000 m3 of sawn wood (photo courtesy Versowood).

In Finland, biomass combustion technology provider KPA Unicon has announced that it has signed a contract with Versowood Group Oy on a major modernization of the bioheat plant at Versowood's Otava sawmill.

Versowood Group Oy (Versowood) is Finland’s largest private sawn timber producer and processor and most significant wood packaging manufacturer. The Group currently operates 12 production units in Finland and one in Estonia employing around 800 staff.

On an annual basis, the Group produces about 1.4 million m³ of sawn timber, 140 000 m3 of glulam, over 5 million pallets, cable drums, and packaging boxes, 70 000 tonnes of wood pellets, over 150 000 utility poles as well as supplying over 400 GWh of district heat for the Finnish and export markets.

Expand heat capacity

The solution to be delivered by KPA Unicon to Versowood’s Otava sawmill consists of smart and environmentally friendly energy solutions.

The Unicon Biograte 14 MW clean energy biomass boiler will replace an old 6 MW boiler and will stand alongside the existing 10 MW boiler.

With this investment, we will ensure uninterrupted heat production at the Otava sawmill and create a basis for increasing the sawmill’s production volumes in the future. We have had natural and good cooperation with KPA Unicon, which made it easier to decide in favour of KPA, said Ville Kopra, Managing Director of Versowood.

The heating plant is used to dry the timber produced by the sawmill and to heat the industrial buildings in the area. In addition, the upcoming new capacity will enable the production of district heat for nearby areas.

As a fuel, the energy plant uses bark, a by-product of the sawmill. The new bioheat plant, the value of which has not been disclosed, will be operational in autumn 2023.

Reduce particle emissions

The KPA Unicon delivery includes the replacement of the old boiler with a new biomass boiler and an Unicon Bag Filter flue gas cleaning system.

The cleaning system will significantly reduce fine particle emissions, which also improves air quality around the sawmill.

In addition, the plant will be equipped with the PlantSys digital service platform to ensure the efficient and reliable operation of the energy system.

Versowood and KPA Unicon have a history since 2018, including the modernization of the Vierumäki heating plant in Finland. It is a pleasure that our cooperation now continues with the modernization of the energy system at Otava sawmill, said Jukka-Pekka Kovanen, Managing Director of KPA Unicon.

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