Upon its completion in 2020, Kymijärvi III will replace a coal-fired 1970s power plant (Kymijärvi I) and reduce Lahti Energy’s carbon dioxide emissions by 600,000 tonnes a year

Utility Lahti Energy Ltd is building a new power plant fired by certified biofuel in the Kymijärvi power plant area in Lahti. The project’s electrification provider is VEO, with the main responsibility for designing, scaling and manufacturing electrification equipment, including installation and commissioning.

Upon its completion in 2020, Kymijärvi III will replace a coal-fired 1970s power plant (Kymijärvi I) and reduce Lahti Energy’s carbon dioxide emissions by 600,000 tonnes a year. Thus far, VEO has carried out similar electrification and automation turnkey deliveries for more than 50 biofuel power plants in 15 different countries.

Precise scheduling required

The district heating power of the new biofuel power plant is approximately 190 megawatts, satisfying roughly half of the Lahti region’s annual need for district heating. The plant’s machinery is controlled through the electrification system delivered by VEO. At the moment, VEO is carrying out the delivery of equipment to the site and its installation. The plan is to begin commissioning the equipment this autumn. According to VEO’s Key Account Manager Rami Luoma, there is a major scheduling responsibility associated with this extensive project, but the use of VEO’s proprietary products and strong process expertise make it possible to achieve the targets. VEO is also in charge of electrical equipment operation management during the delivery and, at the final stages of the project, VEO will take care of the training of the power plant personnel.

“Operation management guarantees the safe and correct installation, commissioning and use of the power plant’s electrical equipment. Our deliveries must be completed exactly on the agreed schedule so that all processes can be commissioned in the right order and power generation can begin,” says Luoma.

In this project, VEO delivers to Lahti Energia a significant number of bus ducts and switchgears manufactured in VEO’s factory in Vaasa. The total length of the equipment is over 150 metres.

Adaptable biofuel power plant

In a changing world, it is challenging to make energy generation equipment investments that span several decades. Kymijärvi III will be built anticipating future needs and taking climate targets into account. At the first stage, the biofuel power plant is being built as a high-pressure steam boiler, which makes it possible to convert the power plant to generate electricity with additional investments. The circulating fluidised bed boiler of the power plant is suitable for using not only biofuel but also other solid fuels in energy generation. The power plant will also be equipped with heat recovery, which makes the power plant highly efficient. The plant’s condensation water will be treated until it is cleaner than drinking water and fly ash will be reused as nutrients in forests.

“Investment-related environmental values and the power plant’s flexibility with regard to fuel and power generation are important for Lahti Energy.  On the basis of the tendering process, we believe that VEO has the right size and agility to partner with us throughout the life cycle of the power plant. We also have earlier positive experiences of VEO’s electrification deliveries,” says Mika Timonen, the project’s Project Manager at Lahti Energy.

"Thus far, VEO has carried out similar electrification and automation turnkey deliveries for more than 50 biofuel power plants in 15 different countries."

Climate friendliness creates jobs

The efficient use of renewable biofuels in combined heat and power plants contributes to international efforts to mitigate climate change and the achievement of the emission standards set by Finland and the EU within the deadlines determined. For its part, Lahti Energy’s project strengthens VEO’s position as a domestic and international automation and electrification provider in the power generation sector. The project’s total employment impact for VEO is approximately 20 person-years, half of them in equipment design and manufacturing and half in site operations. The power plant will also create permanent jobs in Päijät-Häme when the fuel changes from foreign coal to locally-sourced renewable energy.

More information:
Rami Luoma, Key Account Manager, CHP Plants (WtE & Biomass), VEO, +358 50 5327 428, rami.luoma@veo.fi
Timo Ala-Heikkilä, Vice President, Industry, VEO, +358 50 576 7397, timo.ala-heikkila@veo.fi