World’s largest biomass gasification plant opens in Finland

Almost half of the coal used by Vaskiluodon Voima’s existing power plant can now be replaced with gasified biomass.

Finnish power company Vaskiluodon Voima Oy has inaugurated the world’s largest biomass gasification plant in Vaasa, western Finland, in a ceremony attended by the Finnish Minister of Labour Lauri Ihalainen on 11 March. The plant was delivered by the Finnish company Metso, which is a global supplier of technology and services to customers in the process industries, including mining, construction, pulp and paper, power, and oil and gas.


The bio-gasification plant was constructed as part of the existing coal-fired power plant, and the produced gas will be combusted along with coal in the existing coal boiler. According to Metso, nearly half of the coal used by the plant can be replaced with gasified biomass. This makes the solution highly environmentally friendly, enables the flexible use of different fuels and significantly extends the life of the current power plant.


Vaasa is a major energy cluster


Jyrki Holmala, President of Metso’s Power business line, believes that Vaskiluoto’s investment in increasing the use of renewable energy will draw major international attention. “Coal boilers still account for the majority of power production in the world. Bio-gasification technology on this scale offers a new, cost-effective option for increasing the share of biomass and, consequently, for significantly decreasing the use of and emissions from coal.”


According to minister Ihalainen, the government’s objective is to make Finland the leading cleantech country in the world. “The Vaasa region has a central role in this respect. It is already the most important energy technology cluster in the Nordic countries, with more than 10,000 people working in the sector. The aim is to double the number of jobs by the year 2020,” he says. More than 70% of the products and services from Vaasa’s energy cluster are for export.


Sources: Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Metso