PELLETS #BMUJDQFMMFUQSPEVDFSPQUTGPS"VTUSJBO DPHFOFSBUJPOQMBOUT Bioenergy International No 78, 2-2015 35 WITH SEVEN PELLET PLANTS in operation across all three Baltic states and a combined installed capacity of around 1 million tonnes per annum, Graanul Invest has emerged as one of northern Europe’s larger players. According to Raul Kirjanen, CEO for the Estonia based company, the constant base load heat demand in pellet production provides a very good basis for power generation. Thus a goal for the company is to install combined heat and power (CHP) plants at or adjacent to its existing pellet production facilities. During 2011-2012 the company installed its first two CHP plants, at its Helme pellet plant in Estonia and its Launkalne facility in Latvia (the latter was featured in Bioenergy International no. 58, 3/2012). Both of these CHP plants were supplied as turnkey installations by Finnish biomass boiler company MW Power (formerly a joint venture between Metso and Wärtsilä, now Valmet). Each plant has a 15 MW thermal and 6.5 MW electrical capacity and supply each pellet plant with its respective heat and power needs, with the excess power exported to the grid. International tender In late 2012, Graanul Invest decided to invest in a CHP for its newly commissioned, 180 000 tonne per annum Incukalns pellet plant in Latvia. The project was tendered internationally and nine suppliers were shortlisted. In April 2013 it was announced that the Austrian manufacturer Urbas Maschinenfabrik GmbH had been awarded the contract. – After several reference visits and careful consideration we finally opted for a plant by Urbas, explained Dr Priit Uuemaa, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Graanul Invest board member and responsible for energy and development with the company. In July 2013, only three months after ordering the first plant, a second identical plant was ordered, also for installation in Incukalns. – With Urbas everything went smoothly from the start, said Uuemaa. The two structurally identical plants each render 11.5 MW thermal and 4 MW electrical output. The thermal energy is exclusively used for pellet production with part of the heat from the second CHP unit to be used to provide cooling (through an absorption chiller) to improve pellet quality, whereas the electricity is fed into the grid. Each of the two plants requires about 8.2 tonnes per hour of fuel. – The largest possible spread in terms of material consistency was an important purchase criterion for us, explains Uuemaa. In addition to bark and fresh wood chips, sawdust and wood shavings from the neighbouring sawmill are also used in Incukalns. Fuel with a moisture content of up to 60 percent is not a problem for the plant. Long-term partnership Incukalns is the third Graanul pellet facility furnished with a biomass combined heat and power plant. However it is the first time Uuemaa is completely satisfied. – During the two years we have been working with Urbas there have been no disappointments, only positive surprises, said Unemaa. After seven months of construction and a five-week test run the first plant entered regular operation, one month earlier than scheduled. As of October 2014 both CHP plants have been supplying power to the grid. Founded in 1929, Urbas operates internationally in steel construction, hydraulic steelwork and energy technology. For its energy technology division the company has established a dedicated research centre. For research in wood gasification technology and the commercialisation of a wood gas cogeneration plant, Urbas was awarded the 2014 prize for innovation and research by the Federal State of Carinthia. Be that as it may, what particularly impresses Uuemaa are the professional working methods, the scope of the all-inclusive turnkey package and how it is delivered. Turnkey delivery includes plant setup, commissioning and on site training by Urbas staff in how to operate the plant as efficiently and economically as possible. Of course now and again problems occur during the construction of plants of such dimension. – Whatever problem occurred, it was always referred to the right person and could be solved immediately. That even the boss knows his plants down to the smallest technical detail, builds confidence, revealed Uuemaa. As mentioned Graanul Invest has an ambition to have biomass CHP plants at all its pellet production sites. What keeps the company from building them is the uncertain situation concerning green electricity subsidies in Estonia. – There are elections in a couple of months and we shall decide depending on the outcome, explains Uuemaa. If Graanul Invest decide to go ahead and build, there is no doubt regarding technology partners. – Should we build another biomass power plant we’ll do it with Urbas or not at all, ended Dr Priit Uuemaa. Editor’s note: A version of this article originally appeared in HolzKurier issue no. 9, 26/2-2015. Photo: courtesy Günther Jauk BI78/4784/AS One of the largest pellet producers in Northern Europe, Estonian based Graanul Invest recently commissioned two biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plants. Both CHP plants are located at its pellet plant in Incukalns, Latvia and both were supplied by Austrian manufacturer Urbas Maschinenfabrik. Dr Priit Uuemaa, CTO, Graanul Invest has exacting demands for a biomass CHP.
Bioenergy no 2 - March 2015
To see the actual publication please follow the link above