Valmet converts district heat plant in Finland to wood pellets

By Erin Voegele | May 22, 2023

Valmet on May 5 announced has received an order from Helen Ltd. to convert a coal-fired district heat boiler at its Salmisaari ‘A’ power plant in Helsinki, Finland, to a bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) boiler that can be fueled with wood pellets.

Valmet’s turnkey delivery includes a fuel conversion from pulverized coal to wood pellets on a hot water boiler. The company said it will be modified to a BFB boiler with a capacity of 150 megawatts (MW). The delivery includes a flue gas cleaning system and a heat recovery system and modification to the Valmet automation system, as well as all necessary auxiliary systems.

Following the conversion project, Valmet said the facility will produce district heat with extremely high efficiency. The company said flue gas temperature at the stack will be only 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit).

“Converting an existing coal-fired boiler to biofuel combustion is a quick and cost-effective way to transition from fossil to renewable fuels. Valmet has decades of experience of successful boiler conversions,” said Niina Ollikka, director, energy business unit, rebuilds and conversions, Valmet.

“Our goal is carbon-neutral energy production in 2030. Sustainable bioenergy is part of the overall solution to achieve our goal,” said Juhani Aaltonen, responsible for Helen’s sustainable energy solutions. “The versatile production structure ensures reliability of heat supply even in freezing weather. This project is an important step for us on the way to carbon neutrality. We trust Valmet’s abilities to complete this demanding project on time.”