Imatran Lämpö trusts in renewable fuels
The introduction of biofuel fired heat only boiler plants (HOBs) reduced emissions and lowered the price of district heat (DH).
Imatran Lämpö Oy generates more than 95% of district heat with biofuels. Half of the biofuel is forest industry by-products, such as bark, and the other half is wood chips from nearby forests. Natural gas is used at separate peak and reserve boiler plants only during the coldest periods of sub-zero temperatures and during planned or unplanned production breakes at the bio HOBs.
The company replaced natural gas with biofuels in 2015 when three new bio HOBs were completed in Imatra. The ”old” natural gas HOBs remained as peak and reserve ones. Investments were also made in the district heating network. The entire investment lowered the total price of district heating by more than 20%.
– The fall in prices has brought us new district heating customers. The increase in the number of customers, in turn, allows for the expansion of the district heating network and the addition of yet another set of new customer within the scope of the district heating network, says production manager Turo Valkama.
All of the bioboiler plants use the best available technology, which means low emissions and good efficiency. At the largest plant, the 35 MW Virasoja HOB plant, almost all of the heat in the flue gas is also recovered. The use of the flue gas scrubber brings the efficiency of the plant almost up to 100%.
– The new investments and good management of finances mean that the price of district heating can be kept low also in the future, Valkama says.