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Metso to convert Polish coal-fired CHP plant to biomass

By Matt Soberg | September 01, 2011

In an effort to align Poland with Europe's 20 percent by 2020 initiative, Metso Corp., a global supplier of sustainable technology and services, will convert an existing coal-fired boiler in Bialystok, Poland, to utilize biomass as a feedstock. The project will cost approximately $28 million, and the plant is expected to be in operation by December 2012. 

Metso will convert the existing combined-heat-and-power (CHP) coal boiler, operated by Elektrocieplownia Bialystok S.A., with a bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) boiler that will use forest and agricultural residues as fuel, significantly reducing the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions.

The BFB technology provides fuel flexibility and enables the combustion of biomass with high moisture content (30 to 60 percent). Once the conversion is completed, the CHP plant will be capable of producing 166 megawatts of electricity and 460 megawatts of thermal energy.

Metso has experience with similar boiler conversions in Eastern Europe, including conversion of a pulverized coal-fired boiler to a wood chip and non-forest residue combustion boiler for Poland’s Kogeneracja S.A. “We have strong experience from new boiler deliveries and conversions,” Jouko Kylanpaa, a Metso sales director, said in a press release. “Over 30 years, Metso has delivered, in total, 60 boiler conversions to customers worldwide.”

According to Metso, converting coal-fired boilers to use biomass offers a relatively fast route toward environmentally friendly power generation. With Europe’s 20 percent by 2020 initiative, existing companies can utilize conversions to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and reliance on coal fuel in a timely and cost-efficient way.