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RENEWABLE FUEL INDUSTRY NEWS


Winter warmth from the forest


E 8


nvironmental concern is deeply embedded within Sweden’s DNA. Andritz recently added to this environmental commitment by supplying a biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant to keep residents of the town of Mjölby warm in the Winter, using renewable fuel from local forests. With a workforce of just 65, Mjölby-Svartådalen Energi (M-SE) is a lean company that supplies district heating and electricity to the people in Östergötland County, Sweden. In addition, the company is impressively green, as exemplified by its slogan ‘Lokalt producerad energi från skog, vind


8 Winter 2016


och vatten’ (Locally produced energy from wood, wind, and water).


Producing energy and heat from renewable sources is a carefully devised strategy. Christer Kjellberg, Head of Projects at M-SE, said: “It is the company mission to produce as much energy, electricity and district heating from renewables – hydro, wind and wood – as we can. Last year, over 90% of our output was locally generated from renewables. We are setting records in this region and even in Sweden”.


In the beginning, district heating was supplied to the


26,000 residents of Mjölby by oil-fired boilers. In the mid-1980s, the first biomass-fired boiler (12 MWth) was purchased. Small biomass-fired boilers were also purchased in the late 1990s (9 MWth) and in 2008 (5.5MWth). The investment in a new boiler was driven not only by the age and relative efficiency of the existing boilers, but also by the desire to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and to lower the overall cost of producing district heating. “Our existing boilers were becoming less efficient and we needed more capacity,” asserted Kjellberg. “More importantly, by adding


CHP capabilities, the income we produce from power production can be used to offset the district heating production cost.”


Pressure


It was 2010 when it became very clear that the existing boilers were at maximum capacity. “With the units being over 30 years old, it was time to look at something new,” admitted Kjellberg. “We have always been able to keep up with local heating requirements thanks to our pipeline link to a CHP plant in Linköping, 35 km away, but the Mjölby plant was clearly being put under more and more pressure.”


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