April 8, 2021
News

Bio-based fuels will cut Valio’s Seinäjoki plant’s emissions by 15,000 tonnes a year

Adven’s new bio boiler plant at Valio’s Seinäjoki production site has been commissioned, bringing four megawatts of additional power to energy production. Increasing the use of bioenergy will reduce the plant’s use of fossil fuels, and CO2 emissions are cut by 15,000 tonnes a year. The amount corresponds to the annual CO2 emissions of about 1,450 average citizens of Finland.

Valio’s Seinäjoki plant is one of the company’s largest in terms of milk processing volume. Also Valio’s laboratory operates there. Valio’s products are exported to about 60 countries. So-called value-adding milk powders are exported from the Seinäjoki plant, including, for instance, low-sugar ingredients for the confectionery industry.

“We needed more capacity for export products, and last year we carried out a major modernisation project in powder manufacturing. As the use of energy increases, it is necessary to think about how the heat can be produced in the most environmentally friendly way possible. The use of bioenergy is part of our ambitious goal to reduce our carbon footprint from milk production to zero by 2035,” says Plant Manager Timo Panula from Valio.

Adven has been producing energy as a service for Valio’s Seinäjoki production plant since the early 1990s and has also implemented the new bio boiler plant that now has been commissioned. The new bio boiler plant will enable the Seinäjoki plant to reduce its CO2 emissions.

“Improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions are goals for many companies. The need for a new energy solution was assessed with the customer, and together we thought of ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” says Adven’s Account Manager Jani Moisanen.

Robust measures were needed to take in place in order to produce the high-temperature steam and hot water that are necessary in milk processing. There was also variation in the need for steam in production, which is why the utilisation rate of the previous boilers was higher than desired.

“There was a clear need to increase the use of biofuel at this plant. The new boiler plant will use wood-based biofuels from the surrounding area, and the use of fossil fuels will decrease to a minimum,” says Adven’s Project Manager Marko Nenonen.

Converting to bioenergy requires wide-ranging expertise and collaboration

According to Nenonen, the success of the energy project requires project management skills and expertise in the field. Schedules must also be adhered to when circumstances change, and cooperation with various partners and authorities is also necessary in order to achieve optimal results for the customer.

“The authorities’ interpretation of pressure equipment legislation had changed, for instance, since previous similar projects were implemented. This led to changes to ensure that the safety requirements could be fully met,” Nenonen explains.

According to Moisanen, environmentally friendly energy solutions are essential to all parties.

“It is great to be involved in implementing the carbon-neutral production processes of the future for our customers. Our task is to ensure that our customers can always focus entirely on their core operations,” says Moisanen.

Adven supplies energy as a service and operates energy plants at Valio’s production facilities throughout Finland. The service always includes 24/7 remote monitoring of the plants. Adven’s new two-megawatt bioenergy plant has also been commissioned in Valio’s Pitäjänmäki plant. The total CO2 reduction in the Pitäjänmäki and Seinäjoki plants is 17,000 tonnes.

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Adven produces heating and cooling for eleven plants operated by Valio across Finland