News / 20.10.2017

Pellets were ignited in Finland’s largest pellet boiler

The first wood pellets were ignited this week at Helen’s new pellet-fired heating plant in the Salmisaari district of Helsinki. The plant will soon generate renewable district heat to customers in Helsinki. The pellet-fired heating plant is a significant project to increase renewable energy in Helen’s energy production.

“A pellet-fired flame is now burning in Finland’s largest pellet boiler in Salmisaari in Helsinki. The first fire was ignited successfully on Tuesday,” says Heikki Hapuli, Helen’s director responsible for production and distribution.

Over the next few months, the pellet-fired heating plant will be in trial use, testing, e.g. various output levels, boiler start-up, cleanliness of pellet combustion, and the safe operation of the plant. Before burning, pellets are ground into dust, which is transported by blowers into the boiler for burning. All this also requires testing.

Round-the-clock heat production with pellets will start in November. Even during the trial run, the plant will produce substantial amounts of renewable district heat for Helsinki residents.

“Over the course of the winter, the plant will be operated with a constantly increasing output as the trial run progresses. In early 2018, we will be producing renewable district heat for the needs of as many as 25,000 one-bedroom apartments,” says Helen’s Project Manager Aleksi Nurmi.

Wood pellets will replace the use of fossil fuels in Helen’s district heat production. Helen’s renewable district heat production will grow significantly after the completion of the heating plant.

Helen sells the renewable district heat product to both domestic and business customers. By selecting renewable district heat, customers can have a concrete influence on reducing carbon dioxide emissions in energy production.

Inauguration in the winter

The pellet heating plant is located in a densely-built urban environment in the Salmisaari power plant area, and the building is now complete apart from a few finishing touches. The project has generated, and will generate, new employment in the construction industry, pellet manufacture and logistics in Finland.

The trial runs of the plant will continue until the winter, and after that the plant will be ready for undisturbed operation. The inauguration of the pellet heating plant will be held in late winter 2018.


 • The fuel capacity of the pellet heating plant is about 100 MW and its district heat output is about 92 MW.
• It can produce heat to 25,000 one-bedroom apartments, or a town the size of Savonlinna.
• At full capacity, the plant uses 21 tonnes of pellets per hour. This corresponds to one lorryload of pellets every two hours.
• The pellet heating plant will be completed in winter 2018.
• The pellet heating plant is one part of Helen’s sizeable investment programme to replace coal.

Read more in Helen’s Uutta voimaa (new power) blog.

Photos of the pellet heating plant in Helen’s image bank

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