Vantaan Energia Oy's Martinlaakso power plant combines district heat and power generation. During the renovation of the plant, the gas- and oil-fired boiler, commissioned in 1974, was replaced, which is one big step towards the plant’s carbon neutral future.

By successfully utilising a wide range of VEO’s products and services, it was possible to deliver a complete supply of electrification for the bioenergy plant. The delivery included project management, scheduling, design, equipment dimensioning, low and medium voltage switchgear, bus duct systems, installation supervision, commissioning, and customer training.

“We delivered the electrification and lighting of the plant as a turnkey project. In addition, the delivery included distribution transformers, frequency converters as well as installation materials and services. For VEO, the employment impact of the whole project totalled about 15 working years, half of which was design and manufacturing and half site activities,” says VEO’s Project Manager Rami Luoma.

Vantaan Energia, Martinlaakso bioenergy plant
"By using these biofuels instead of gas and coal, the plant's carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by about 30 per cent."

The renovation of the power plant began in autumn 2017, and the new bioenergy plant started operation at the beginning of 2019. The project went according to plan, both in terms of schedule and outcome.

“VEO’s long-term expertise as a total supplier of power plant electrification solutions and knowledge of power generation processes contributed to the successful outcome of the project,” says Luoma.

The availability of the plant has been greatly improved thanks to the renovation. Now the plant is safer and more energy efficient.

“Previously, processes were mainly controlled by hydraulic coupling and control valves. The modernisation of the equipment controls has led to a significant improvement in the energy efficiency of the entire plant. The current system also provides reminders of up-to-date services and repairs, which make maintenance easier,” explains Electrical Engineer Jori Issakainen from Vantaan Energia.

The new bioenergy plant produces district heating and electricity as eco-friendly cogeneration. The work done to reduce the use of fossil fuels is part of the goal of the cities of Vantaa and Helsinki to be carbon neutral by 2035.

“The Martinlaakso bioenergy plant is mainly fuelled by domestic wood chips, such as surplus chips, sawdust and remaining material from the plywood industry. By using these biofuels instead of gas and coal, the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by about 30 per cent,” explains Vantaan Energia’s Project Manager Marko Lommi.

The efficient use of biofuels in power generation also contributes to meeting the emission targets set by Finland and the EU. The energy companies have taken these targets seriously, which is also reflected in VEO’s operations.

“Over the past 15 years, VEO has delivered complete automation and electrification deliveries, such as the Martinlaakso bioenergy plant, to approximately 50 bioenergy plants in 15 countries. This is to be welcomed, as being involved in renewable energy projects is a significant part of VEO’s strategy,” says Luoma.

Consensus among the various players is emphasised in challenging plant projects, particularly tightly-scheduled modernisations combining new and old technologies. All the parties are required to be flexible and responsive at all levels of the organisation, from system design to site installations.

“During the years of co-operation, our trust towards VEO’s expertise and willingness to design and deliver energy efficient solutions has grown. That’s why it’s easy to choose what they recommend. The solutions chosen for the Martinlaakso power plant have a direct impact on the reliability of the power unit and its environmental emissions throughout the plant’s life cycle,” Lommi concludes.