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Oulun Energia to invest 19 million euros in the Laanila power plant region

28.02.2023 / Last updated 14.03.2023 09:18

Oulun Energia is significantly investing in the development of the Laanila region. The Laanila region is home to a power plant cluster that will enable the development and implementation of future energy solutions. The energy production of existing biopower and ecopower plants will be supported by constructing an electric boiler, a turbine generator, and a chipper. The investments also represent the tangible actions that Oulun Energia is taking on its path to carbon-neutral energy production by 2030.

Oulun Energia has invested in the development and future of the Laanila power plant region in the long term. The new biopower plant started its operations about three years ago. Last year, Oulun Energia also announced a cooperation agreement with the Junnikkala sawmill, in which the intention is to distribute heating energy from the biopower plant to the drying plants in the sawmill while utilising the remaining bioenergy sources from the sawmill in Oulun Energia’s production of electricity and heat. The Junnikkala sawmill will start its operation at the end of 2023. These new investments will further consolidate the status of the Laanila region and allow new industrial operations to be carried out in the region.

Heat production with an electric boiler

The production of heat is becoming more electric and will become emission-free in the future. As part of this development, Oulun Energia has decided to build its first electric boiler for district heating production in the Laanila power plant region. The electric boiler can produce heat for customers at very competitive prices during times of affordable electricity. The investment in the electric boiler is also an important point in Oulun Energia’s path to carbon neutrality because it enables Oulun Energia to reduce the use of oil. The electric boiler has a power output of 40 MW and is due to be completed by the end of 2023.

Electricity production by turbine

The availability of electricity is of great importance in the energy system of the future to ensure the moderate price of electricity. Oulun Energia is investing in the production of additional electricity by building a new turbine connected to the ecopower plant. The turbine can also be used to produce electricity from waste fuels. The ecopower plant is an ideal site for the turbine as the plant operates year-round at maximum production, with the exception of maintenance breaks. The turbine has a power output of 6 MW and will be operational in late 2023.

The chipper will increase security of supply and reduce environmental impact

The fuel choices of the future are renewable at Oulun Energia. The use of peat is being discontinued, making wood the main fuel for power plants. The chipper to be built at the Laanila biopower plant will be used to make energy wood into chips to be used as fuel for the biopower plant. The electric wood chipper will be used to improve the security of supply of wood chip distribution and reduce the environmental impact of chipping when the chipping is carried out without fossil fuels. The chipper will be operational in early 2024 if all goes as planned.

“The development of the Laanila region is important for Oulun Energia and for Oulu as a whole. We are showing in concrete terms that Oulu wants to invest in the energy transition—in clean and efficient energy production. The investments will create new jobs, cash flows, and provide excellent support for the development of the region into an emission-free energy source and also enable other new industrial operations in Laanila,” says Pertti Vanhala, business director of energy production at Oulun Energia.