Finding industrial balance

Sustainable Waste to Energy production in Vantaa, Finland

Traditionally, waste to energy plants are primarily designed to burn waste and their energy production efficiency is relatively low. In the Vantaa waste to energy project the approach is different. On the one hand, the innovative design aims to maximise energy production while meeting stringent environmental requirements. On the other hand, the new plant is seen as a contribution to the urban development of Vantaa.

Ilkka Lassila, a Senior Project Manager at Pöyry, is heading the team that supports Vantaan Energia Oy in turning this outstanding vision into reality.

Ilkka, how will the energy production in this waste incineration plant be maximised?

"This will be achieved by introducing the gas turbine combined cycle process to the waste incineration process. The new plant will burn 320,000 tonnes of waste annually and in the end, the plant output will be 78 MWe (net) and 120 MW dh with an overall plant efficiency of 95 per cent. These values are the best in the world! The heat production will correspond to about half of Vantaa’s annual heat requirement."


That sounds impressive. However, what can be done to minimise impacts on the environment, which a new plant of this size certainly must have?  

"First of all, our team carried out a comprehensive environmental impact assessment in order to detect and mitigate the environmental risks of this project as early as possible. Moreover, the best available and economically feasible technology is implemented, such as that for the flue gas cleaning process, so that emission levels are below the emission limit values laid down in the respective EU regulations. The building surface materials that are used are partly hydrotech tiles which are self-cleaning and environmental friendly. All in all, the air cleaning effect of the surface material corresponds to 50 trees!"

What does this project mean for your client?

"The new high-technology plant will replace one of Vantaan Energia Oy’s power plant production units, which will come to the end of its service life by 2015 at the latest. This will reduce the use of coal and the amount of mixed waste ending up in landfill. Consequently, Vantaan Energia Oy will use about 30 per cent less coal in electricity and heat production. The company’s CO2 emissions will also fall by some 20 per cent from the present level. In addition, the project will provide new jobs in the region and contribute to the modern urban development of the city of Vantaa."

How will the new plant contribute to the urban development of Vantaa?

"The high-technology plant is designed as a modern sculptural combination of buildings. They will change the area into an exceptional industrial facility that will attract people, designers and experts, including those from some distance away, to familiarise themselves with the waste-to-energy process. The plant will remove the negativity that is so often related to waste handling. It will make a difference!"

The plant is expected to be taken into use in 2014. At the moment, construction is going full steam ahead. Kalle Patomeri, Project Director of Vantaan Energia Oy is pleased to be partnering with Pöyry: “Our target has not been to build a traditional waste incineration facility. As an energy company, we wanted to build a highly efficient power plant that fits into our energy supply system in the city of Vantaa. In addition, there has been a strong commitment to design a sustainable plant that exceeds current environmental requirements. We are also looking for an architecturally impressive solution, as we would like the new plant to attract thousands of visitors each year. Following these targets, Pöyry is working to our full satisfaction!”

Take a virtual tour through the plant


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