Guest Writer – The Port is vital for the Naantali power plant
Location near the Port of Naantali is vital for the operating of the Naantali power plant. Without the logistics solution provided by the Port of Naantali for our fuel transports, we would not be able to secure the energy supply to the inhabitants in the Turku region or make plans for our transition to carbon-free production.
The Port was essential for the Naantali power plant since it was established. During the first decades of the plant, the coal used as the principal fuel was brought in by ship. Although the significance of coal as a fuel in the Naantali power plant has continuously decreased, the power plant still has an obligation to store emergency supply, which means that the coal heap will remain a landmark of the power plant for a long time.
On the way towards carbon neutral energy production we built in 2017 at the Naantali power plant unit four, a multi-fuel power plant that mainly uses wood-based fuels. While the purchasing area of domestic wood-based fuel is typically determined as a circle with a diameter of around 150 kilometres, Naantali’s location is really bad from that point of view. Just under half of the fuel purchasing circle is available and the rest is covered by the sea. The importance of the Port is again emphasised, as around one-third of the wood-based fuel used at the power plant is carried through the Port of Naantali.
Ships bring in bark, sawdust briquettes, wood chips, and forest residue. The unloading of one ship takes about 24 hours, but the fuel it carries lasts for just a few days. At best there are several ships loaded with timber/wood chips arriving in the same week. It is absolutely clear that without these fuel shipments coming by sea the share of wood-based fuels could not have been increased even to its current level. Fuel shipments arriving by sea will have a critical role in the future, too.
Turun Seudun Energiantuotanto Oy uses nearly 1,000,000 m3 of different wood-based fuels per year. The boiler of unit four has been modified over the years and the fuel base has been expanded in such a way that at present it is possible to burn up to 80% of wood-based fuels in boiler, as well as peat, recycled fuels, and asphaltene. The goal is to develop the boiler towards more carbon neutral energy production – we are continuously planning how we can further increase the share of wood-based fuels in energy production in the future.
In Finland, all power plants aim at decreasing the use of fossil fuels for both environmental and economic reasons, and wood-based industry is continuously increasing in Southwest Finland and is partially competing for the same raw materials. The ending of timber imports from Russia forces big players to expand their timber purchasing area. At the same time, the availability of Finnish timber is compromised due to poor logging conditions and the recently increased and increasing demands for the protection of the environment. So we are fortunate to be located near the Port of Naantali.
Turun Seudun Energiantuotanto Oy TSE