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Valmet to upgrade biomass plant in Finland

Valmet has received an order from energy firm Kotkan Energia to modernise the turbine automation and to supply a new turbine controller to the Hovinsaari biomass-fired power plant in Kotka, Finland.

The new automation will be started up in September to improve turbine reliability and availability.

The order was included in Valmet's first quarter 2016 orders received. The value of the order is not disclosed.

"Valmet was able to offer us a modern turbine controller complemented by a condition monitoring solution as a turnkey delivery. Both of them can be integrated within our existing Valmet DNA automation system," said Antti Roponen, control and instrumentation specialist at Kotkan Energia.

In the future, the plant's turbine will be controlled through the main automation system instead of separate automation systems and link applications, which improves process transparency.

"The new automation will make the operators' work simpler and easier because it includes features such as start-up sequences. Automation maintenance will be easier since the same engineering tools will be used in the automation system and the turbine controller. If necessary, the operators and maintenance staff have fast access to Valmet's expert support via a remote connection," said Tom Bäckman, Turbine Control product manager, Valmet.

Valmet's automation will replace the plant's existing turbine control system, which has reached the end of its life cycle and for which spare parts are no longer available.

 Additionally, the delivery scope includes turbine and generator protection, synchronization, excitation and condition monitoring. In case of disruptions, the customer is able to contact Valmet experts quickly through remote analysis or proactive support service.  

Biomass-fired unit

The Hovinsaari power plant consists of a biomass-fired unit, a natural gas-fired combined cycle unit and an auxiliary boiler. The power plant produces most of the district heat used in Kotka, process steam for the Danisco Sweeteners factory and electricity for the national grid.

The biomass-fired unit has a capacity of 37 megawatts (MW) of district heat, 15-20 MW of process steam and 15 MW of electricity. It is fuelled by industrial by-products, forest residues, recycled fuels and peat according to need. Generator capacity is 25 MWe.

Kotkan Energia is an energy group fully owned by the city of Kotka. Its business consists of energy production and district heat services as well the operations of its subsidiaries Karhu Voima Verkko Oy and Karhu Voima Palvelu Oy.

The group's main products are district heat, electricity, industrial steam and waste utilisation services. The main products of the Karhu Voima companies include transmission of electricity and natural gas as well as natural gas sales for industrial use. Additionally, the subsidiaries provide maintenance and other services for the industry.