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Finnish firm to provide biomass boiler plant for Danone NZ facility

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Finnish renewable energy firm KPA Unicon will supply a biomass steam boiler plant to Danone’s Nutricia spray drying facility in New Zealand. This marks the first delivery for KPA Unicon in the Oceanian market.

The new steam generating plant, which will be located at Danone’s facility in New Zealand’s South Island, will have a capacity of 15MW and produce 21 tonnes per hour of saturated steam for the milk powder process. The plant will use locally produced sustainable wood fuel via a Unicon Renefluid fluidised bed boiler, designed to utilise energy sources of varying quality.

Danone’s Nutricia spray-drying plant processes raw milk sourced from local farms into powder, which is used as the base for infant milk formula. Steam production plays a crucial role in the process, as the conversion of milk into a dry powder is done by heat. KPA Unicon’s new biomass steam generating plant will reduce the spray drying plant’s emissions by around 20,000 tonnes annually.

Pentti Savolainen, project manager at KPA Unicon, said the contract was based on positive experiences with the company’s technology and project deliveries in central Europe. “In addition, emission control and a flexible response to our customer’s load changes were counted as our strengths”, added Pentti.

Alongside the plant delivery agreement, the two firms have entered into a service agreement whereby KPA Unicon will provide annual maintenance services. The new plant will be connected to KPA Unicon’s service centre in Haapavesi, Finland. From here, the company can remotely monitor the plant.