Finnish cheese plant converting to biomass power

By Anna Austin | October 18, 2011

Finland’s largest milk processor will soon power its biggest cheese plant with biomass.

Valio Ltd has awarded Metso-Wärtsilä Power, a joint venture between boiler manufacturer Metso Power and power plant supplier Wärtsilä, a contract to install and commission a biomass boiler system at its Lapinlahti, Finland, cheese plant. It will generate the steam and heat needed for the cheese plant’s operations.

Initially, the system will run on peat and wood chips, but Valio plans to gradually increase the wood chip fuel ratio until it is at 100 percent. The system is able to use a wide range of other biomass fuels, however, including bark, sawdust, water treatment sludge and rice husks. “When designing the plant, particular attention was paid to ensuring high plant availability and flexibility and securing the operations of the production plant under any circumstances in a changing fuel market,” said Olli Elo, MW Power product line director.

The boiler is based on Metso’s HYBEX bubbling fluidized bed combustion technology, and should be operating in the spring of 2013.

The value of the project is not being disclosed.