Twenty-metre pellet silos are built at Salmisaari power plant

Helsingin Energia is preparing for the launch of pellet combustion at the Salmisaari at the end of the year. Two large pellet silos arrived in separate sections at the Salmisaari harbour on Sunday evening, and they are currently being assembled at the power plant yard.

Both pellet silos can accommodate 1,000 cubic metres of pellets. The diameter of the silos is 10 metres, and their roof will rise to a height of 20 metres. The gate to the Salmisaari power plant had to be dismantled so that the wide delivery was able to enter the power plant area.

The pellet silos are assembled from four parts, the largest of which weigh about 35,000 kilos. The sections will be lifted into place on top of the silo building with a 50-metre crane. Other constructions currently built in the middle of the power plant area are the reception building, as well as conveyors for dosing and feeding the wood pellets into the coal mix before entering the coal mills.

- From the end of this year, we will start firing wood pellets mixed with coal at a ratio of 5–7 per cent at the Salmisaari power plant. When the co-firing starts, 5–7 pellet lorries will be arriving at the power plant every day, says Project Manager Teemu Nieminen.

A similar system will also be built at the Hanasaari power plant to start continuous pellet combustion, but we are still waiting for the necessary permits from the authorities to start the construction work. A number of pellet combustion tests have been carried out at the Hanasaari power plant. These tests have revealed that, with the use of the current equipment, wood pellets can replace coal with respect to 5–7 per cent of the boiler’s fuel power. With this share, a total of about 100,000 tonnes of pellets will be required at Salmisaari and Hanasaari each year. At the Hanasaari power plant, a globally unique study measuring particulate and gas emissions has been conducted, and various pellet grades have also been tested.

Pellet combustion is part of the development programme

Increasing the use of pellets at the Salmisaari and Hanasaari power plants is part of Helsingin Energia’s development programme towards a carbon neutral future. Helsingin Energia aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent on the 1990 level and to increase the share of renewable energy to 20 per cent by 2020.

In 2015, the Helsinki City Council will decide on the investments pertaining to Helsingin Energia’s development programme. The main alternatives are to increase the share of pellets to 40 per cent at the Hanasaari and Salmisaari power plants or to build a new multifuel power plant at Vuosaari, using wood chips as the main fuel.

Photos of the arrival of pellet silos by barge in Helsinki

Published: 30.06.2014 13:08

Marina Galkin-Aalto
Journalist
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