Pellet combustion testing to start in Helsinki power plant

Two coal-fired cogeneration plants in Helsinki will be using pellets for 5-10% of their fuel needs in 2014.

Finnish energy company Helsingin Energia is currently constructing a 100 cubic metre pellet silo and feeding system at its Hanasaari coal-fired cogeneration plant producing electricity and heat in Helsinki. The use of pellets as an energy source will commence at the plant in October with the testing of different mixture ratios of pellets and coal. About 300 tons of pellets will be combusted during the first testing phase.


Helsingin Energia is aiming to establish the maximum energy efficiency for the use of pellets by the year 2014, when pellets will be used continuously in both the Hanasaaari and Salmisaari power stations in Helsinki. The test period also involves research into the effects of combusting the biomass mixture on small particles in cooperation with CLEEN Ltd, an open innovation platform for market-driven joint research between industry and academia in Finland.


Bigger silos required in 2014


Hanasaari and Salmisaari power plants will need much bigger silos in 2014, with a minimum capacity of 1000 cubic metres, when pellets will make up 5-10% of the total fuel used in the plants. The City of Helsinki will decide in 2015 whether to increase the use of forest-based biomass in the power plants or to invest in a new biofuel-fired power plant in Vuosaari.


Helsingin Energia’s target is to increase the use of renewable energy sources by 20% by 2020. It is currently investigating how to increase the use of wood-based fuels, such as biogas or torrefied biomass, as well as supplementing its energy palette with offshore wind power.


Helsingin Energia is one of the largest energy companies in Finland, supplying electric energy to about 400,000 customers in Finland and covering over 90% of the heat demand of the capital city with district heat. The company also produces and sells district cooling, which is considerably expanding in Helsinki.


Sources: Helsingin Energia, Cleen Ltd