Renewal of the Salmisaari production site – construction of new heating plants to begin this autumn
The Salmisaari production site is undergoing extensive renewal. Pellets will replace coal at the Salmisaari A heating plant, where coal-based production was discontinued in spring 2023. The coal-based production of electricity and heat at the Salmisaari B power plant will be discontinued, and the plant will be decommissioned on 1 April 2025. In addition, new plant facilities will be built at the production site alongside plant A and plant B, consisting of two electric boilers and an industrial-scale air-to-water heat pump plant. The new plants will be deployed in heat production in the 2024–2025 heating season.
An industrial-scale air-to-water heat pump plant and two 50 MW electric boilers will be built at Salmisaari. The heat produced by the electric boilers will correspond to the annual heat consumption of as many as 30,000 two-room apartments. The air-to-water heat pumps, in turn, will produce approximately 61 GWh of district heating and 10 GWh of district cooling per year. Their district heating power will be 14 MW and their district cooling power 8 MW.
The air-to-water heat pumps will be the first of their scale to be built in Finland. Air-to-water heat pumps use outdoor air as their energy source and can produce district heat from outdoor air as cold as -8°C. During the summer season, the heat pumps are also used to produce district cooling. The heat produced by air-to-water heat pumps and electric boilers replaces heat production based on fossil fuels.
Investments in a diverse production structure increase Helen’s energy self-sufficiency as we continue the green transition towards carbon-neutral production.
“The new electric boilers will reduce Helen’s carbon dioxide emissions by more than 240,000 tonnes over their first five years of operation, and their combined power can be as high as the peak consumption of the Lauttasaari district. Our goal is an 80% reduction in emissions by 2025 compared to the emissions in 1990, and we are also aiming for carbon-neutral energy production by 2030,” says Timo Aaltonen, Senior Vice President, Energy Platform and Production Solutions.
The new plants will be built at the Salmisaari production site, near the front of the current plant site, on the Porkkalankatu side. The red-brick facade of the plants will respect the historical architecture of the production site, enclosing the exterior of the current technical building at the site and thereby creating a more coherent cityscape. The actual construction work will begin in late 2023 and will lead to new arrangements for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
In line with Helen’s plans, we will also increase our bioenergy production by converting the coal-powered boiler plant at the Salmisaari production site into a pellet-powered plant. The pellet boiler will replace coal at the Salmisaari A heating plant. The boiler will see its heaviest use during winter when the demand for heat is at its highest. The plan is for the pellet boiler to start producing heat for the district heating network in the 2024–2025 heating season.
The Salmisaari production site is also supplemented by the existing heat storage infrastructure that will undergo alterations this year. The new investments in Salmisaari will help increase the flexibility of the energy system and produce carbon-neutral district heat for our customers.