Fortum starts up biomass plant

  • 2013-09-19
  • From wire reports

JELGAVA - Finnish power company Fortum inaugurated the first large-scale biomass combined heat and power plant in Latvia on Sept. 11, the company said in a press release. The new combined heat and power (CHP) plant is located in the city of Jelgava. The plant uses biomass as fuel and will provide district heating to the residents and businesses in Jelgava as well as electricity to the electricity market. The new plant covers approximately 85 percent of the city’s district heating demand.

“Residents of Jelgava, who will receive these daily services, are the winners of this long-term cooperation between countries in the energy sector. The cooperation in constructing the plant has been mutually beneficial and based on good partnership for all parties involved. Our common task is to take full advantage of available renewable energy resources as well as the knowledge and technologies of our partners,” said Latvian President Andris Berzins at the inauguration ceremony.

“Combined heat and power production is one of the cornerstones of Fortum’s strategy. This production form is energy and cost efficient and together with renewable fuels it is CO2-free,” said Fortum’s CFO Markus Rauramo.

Fortum’s new plant uses wood chips as fuel and replaces old natural gas-fired heat production in Jelgava, thereby reducing the area’s CO2 emissions by approximately 44,000 tons compared to 2010. The production capacity of the Jelgava plant is 23 MW electricity and 45 MW heat. The plant will produce approximately 110 GWh of electricity and 230 GWh of heat per year. The technology at the plant provides the possibility to use also other solid renewables, like peat and wood residues.

Construction of the plant started in August 2011. Occupational safety was a priority during the entire project and was at an extremely good level with only one incident causing lost workdays. Fortum’s investment in the new power plant and related infrastructure totalled around 50 million lats (71.4 million euros).

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, who was on a visit to Latvia last week, also attended the opening ceremonies