Swedish CHP plant to use Foster Wheeler boiler

By Luke Geiver | February 21, 2012

A publically owned energy provider in Southern Sweden will use a circulating fluidized bed boiler manufactured by Global Power Group, a subsidiary of Sweden-based Foster Wheeler AG. 

Lunds Energi is building a 35 MW combined-heat-and-power (CHP) system that will run on demolition waste, along with other woody biomass. Although the majority of the contract terms have not been disclosed, Foster Wheeler will provide design, supply and commissioning services related to the boiler portion of the project. It is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2014.

Lunds Energi is building the CHP facility to replace an existing fossil fuel system. Once operational, the new facility will produce steam created from 100 percent biomass, according to Lunds Energi. Sylvia Michael, president of Lunds Energi, praised Foster Wheeler’s biomass boilers, saying they can achieve low emissions, high efficiency and fuel flexibility. “It is important for us to be a part of the solution for a better environment,” Michael said.

The biomass-based circulating fluidized bed boiler has already been put to use in 11 European plants, including the world’s largest 100 percent biomass circulating fluidized bed plant at the Polaniec Power Station in Poland. According to Foster Wheeler, the technology creates a combustion process that can operate at low temperatures, creating longer burning times, which naturally reduces nitrogen oxide formation, and a higher combustion efficiency. Particulate emissions can be cut by more than 90 percent in repowering projects, according to Foster Wheeler, and if supercritical units are installed, those emission numbers can be reduced by another 5 to 10 percent.

Because the technology can handle multiple feedstocks, biomass is only one of many fuels that can be used including coals, lignite, petcock and others. Nine percent of all facilities employing the technology and using one hundred percent of one particular fuel are using biomass.

The technology employs air nozzles made of tough nickel that direct air at lateral angles, resulting in better mixing conditions within the bed. It also circulates debris toward drain chutes that are situated on a grid contour featuring peaks and valleys. Those are two of the many elements Foster Wheeler credits for the technology’s low emissions and operational efficiency. If a 150 MW coal plant co-fired 10 percent biomass in a Foster Wheeler boiler, 96,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide emissions would be mitigated, according to the company. Co-firing with 25 percent biomass would mitigate 240,000 tons per year, and 100 percent would mitigate 960,000 tons.