Following a successful first two years of operation, the 140 MW combined heat and power (CHP) waste to energy gasification facility in Lahti, Finland is to be further developed.
According to Valmet, which supplied the waste gasification technology deployed at the facility, following its successful resolution to a number of issues that became apparent during the plant’s first two years of operations, it has agreed with its owner, Lahti Energia on joint further development of the power plant.
Lahti Energia Oy's Kymijärvi II waste to energy plant has a capacity of 50 MW electrical generation and a further 90 MW of heat.
Valmet claimed that while the electricity generated in a traditional mass burn power plant only amounts to approximately 20% to 25% of the energy content of the waste, it’s gasification technology achieves efficiency rates exceeding 30% - in other words, the same amount of waste yields around 30% to 50% more electricity.
Development work on the gasification technology started in Tampere in 2002, and proceeded to a commercial solution for the Lahti plant via various demonstration stages.
However, according to Hemmo Takala, production manager of Lahti Energia, some surprises emerged during long-term use.
"Availability of the plant fell behind the desired level during the first year of operations. The plant has been improved during the maintenance shutdowns during this and previous summer,” explained Takala.
“Already during spring this year, the availability was much better and came close to complying with the set targets," he continued.
Valmet explained that the Lahti waste to energy plant is among the first to utilise hot gas filtering technology, which has resulted in many new insights into the technology. As such modifications in the technology and changes in operating methods based on these experiences have improved the performance and reliability of the plant.
According to the company, all of the performance specifications required of the plant have been met and there are no symptoms of high-temperature corrosion.
"We have learned a lot thanks to this plant, particularly regarding long-term operations, which are impossible to test in a small scale,” commented Juhani Isaksson, head of Valmet's gasification technology.
Valmet added that it will now continue to work with Lahti Energia to develop the plant together following the conclusion of the delivery process.
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