Domestic biofuels from close by
The Finnish fuels used by Vaasan Voima – woody biomass and energy peat – are sourced from the regions of Ostrobothnia and South Ostrobothnia, within a radius of about 100 kilometres from the power plants. To keep the delivery volumes high enough and the transport distances as short as possible, we use several different fuel suppliers.
Decades of environmental investment
In the 1990s, the Vaasa power plant made environmental investments in modern burner technology, a desulphurisation plant and an electrostatic precipitator.
- We use the latest generation of Hitachi NR3 burners, which have reduced nitrogen oxide emissions by around 30%.
- Our desulphurisation plant filters up to more than 90% of the sulphur dioxide emissions in flue gases.
- Particle emissions are handled by an electrostatic precipitator with a 99.9% collection efficiency.
- Particle emissions from flue gases are minimised by efficient electrostatic precipitators.
A gasification plant, connected to the VL2 unit, was completed in 2012. Its boiler can be operated with a gasifier without burning pulverised coal.
In 2015, an electrically powered on-site crusher was completed on the power plant site to better manage the biofuel supply chain. On-site crushing also achieves reductions in carbon dioxide emissions compared to diesel-powered crushing and chipping. The on-site crusher makes it possible to use a standard timber truck to transport timber on round trips, so that the truck is not empty on either trip.
In 2020, the boiler’s overfire air ducting system was upgraded, adding a second layer, and a selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) system was installed for the boiler and its tank. This equipment allows us to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) to the levels required in the BAT conclusions as outlined in the Best Available Techniques Reference (BREF) documents.
We have certified systems and an Energy Efficiency Agreement in place
Vaasan Voima’s power plant in Vaskiluoto complies with the ISO 14001:2015 standard for environmental management systems and the Finnish ETJ+ Energy Efficiency System. The aim of these systems is to support energy companies’ operations and guide them towards continuous improvement.
Both schemes are certified, and the current certificate for the environmental system was valid from the 31st of May 2023 to the 30th of May 2026 and for the energy efficiency system from the 9th of March 2023 to the 5th of December 2024. In addition to these certified systems, the power plant has a voluntary Energy Efficiency Agreement in place.
Ash for earthworks
Vaasan Voima’s power plant in Vaskiluoto creates some 30,000–70,000 tonnes of ash per year as a by-product. Ash is an excellent earthwork material. It makes the ground structure of an earthwork project lightweight, strong and frost resistant.
Using ash is also more cost-effective than any natural materials used in its place. Because ash hardens and becomes a denser, well-bearing structure, it is used in particular in the foundations of roads and parking areas.
Gypsum for building walls
As the Vaasa power plant also uses coal as fuel, this creates some 5,000–10,000 tonnes of gypsum per year as a by-product. The amount of gypsum generated depends on the amount of coal used and its sulphur content.
Gypsum is created in the desulphurisation plant for flue gases, which utilises the wet scrubbing technique using limestone as an alkaline sorbent. All the gypsum produced is taken to a plasterboard factory where it is transformed into boards for buildings.