"The new plant in Lahti will not only represent the latest Finnish expertise in energy efficiency but also utilise renewable Finnish fuel. So it is a fine example of high-standard Finnish knowhow," said Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister for Housing, Energy and the Environment, at the laying of the cornerstone in autumn 2017.
The most environment-friendly bioenergy plant in Finland
After its completion, the Kymijärvi III plant will secure Lahti's heat production for decades to come. The amount of recycled and renewable fuel in Lahti Energia's district heating production will grow to more than 80 percent. The new production plant will be the most environment-friendly bioenergy plant in Finland. With this project, Lahti Energia's emissions to the atmosphere and into water will be reduced to a fraction of the present emissions.
The completion of Kymijärvi III in 2019 will seal the energy transformation in Lahti. After the plant is opened, Lahti Energia's carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced to a fifth of the levels in 1990. Reducing the emissions from district heating is an essential part of City of Lahti's carbon neutrality goal until 2040. The money used on fuel – over 10 million euros per year – will stay in the local area, says Eero Seesvaara, CEO at Lahti Energia Oy.
The fuel chain brings jobs to the local area
The wood-based fuel used in the plant is produced locally. The plant will produce around 80 new jobs in wood-harvesting and transport, so the acquirement of biofuel will affect the entire area's economy.
The fuel will be certified sustainable wood that is created as a byproduct of timber utilisation at different stages of the production chain. The fuel will consist for example of logging residue chips, waste-to-energy from thinnings and sawmill byproducts that cannot be utilised in high-level processing. The nutrient balance of forests will also be attended to: the ashes from wood-burning will be returned to the forests for nutrition.
The process is highly energy efficient. When it comes to water consumption, the plant is almost self-sufficient. Raw water is only used for cooling. The required process water is accumulated from the humidity in the fuel. Coolant is used in the process, and the small residue is cleaned in a multiphase process. The coolant will end up in lake Vesijärvi completely cleaned, so it will be purer that drinking water. The coolant cleaning process developed by Lahti Energia is unique in Finland and it was selected as one of the top energy technology projects of 2017 by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
The Kymijärvi III bio-heating plant will be ready for testing and initialisation in summer 2019, and the Kymijärvi I plant that uses coal will simultaneously be definitively closed.
Eero Seesvaara, CEO, tel. +358 50 552 8401
Mika Timonen, Project Manager, tel. +358 40 560 2587