Fortum’s Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant in Klaipeda produces much of the district heating for Lithuania’s third largest city while also solving waste management problems in the region.
The view from the windows of the Fortum power plant’s control room shows two trucks backing onto a landing stage and dropping their cargo of waste into an enormous waste bunker. The combined load of these two trucks is relatively small; today, a total of 75 trucks will be dropping their loads here.
As the trucks come and go, two grab cranes work nonstop. Ceaselessly, they move the waste in the bunker to make space for new loads and then lift it into the adjoining incinerator. The power plant never sleeps, so the cranes too work around the clock, seven days a week.
The waste is a combination of biomass, municipal and industrial waste, and it fuels Fortum’s Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant. The plant produces district heating for households and businesses in the city of Klaipeda and electricity for the Lithuanian grid.
The grab cranes delivered by Konecranes are two of the most important major machines at the plant, in addition to the boiler, turbine and the combustion gas scrubber, says Petri Härmä, Head of Large Projects at Fortum.
“The capacity and usability of the grab cranes are instrumental to the reliability and profitability of the entire plant,” Härmä explains.
According to Härmä, Fortum chose Konecranes as the supplier of the grab cranes based on technological and economical comparisons.
“During the first year of operations, the usability of the grab cranes has been good,” he notes.
A great impact on the city of Klaipeda
Producing approximately 140 GWh of electricity and 400 GWh of heat per year, the Fortum plant provides for about 40 percent of the district heating needs of the entire city of Klaipeda, Lithuania’s third largest city and the country’s most important transportation hub, connecting sea, land and railway routes from East to West.
The plant also plays a considerable role in the waste management chain, solving waste management problems in the Klaipeda region and reducing the amount of rubbish deposited in landfills.
The Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė and the Finnish president Sauli Niinistö inaugurated the plant in May 2013, in a stately ceremony that highlighted the significance of the project beyond its contributions to the region of Klaipeda.
“[Fortum Klaipėda] is a concrete example how Lithuania’s and the EU’s energy priorities are successfully translated into action,” Grybauskaitė said.
- In the EU, CHP generation is seen as the most significant method for reducing the creation of greenhouse gases.
- The Fortum Klaipeda plant is first of its kind in the Baltics.
- Most of the CHP plants in Europe are located in Germany and France.