Carbon neutrality opens up good growth possibilities for Prometec

Prometec, a Finnish company specializing in the quality control of biofuels, will deliver a sampling robot to the new Oulun Energia power plant under located in Laanila, Oulu. The new power plant is part of Oulu Energy’s goal of carbon-neutral energy production in the 2040s.

The importance of reliable sampling is emphasized when power plants increase the use of wood-based fuel as Oulu’s Laanila biomass powered plant and decreases a usage of peat. Carbon neutrality also opens up good growth possibilities for Prometec. With the deal, Prometec will be able to showcase its expertise together with Finland’s largest bioenergy plants.

The sampling robot supplied by Prometec takes samples of the material to be fired at the power plant, from which the calorific value and humidity will be measured. In order, Oulu’s order is the delivery of Prometec’s sixth sampling robot. This year, Prometec will deliver an almost equivalent robot to one of the world’s largest bio power plants, Stockholm Exergi, in Stockholm. There the project proceeds on schedule.

Reliable sampling automatically

At the Laanila-sized power plant in Oulu, we want to take samples that are as reliable as possible and get real-time information on the moisture content of the each load delivered to the power plant. With the help of sampling and moisture analysis from the sample, the power plant can significantly improve the energy efficiency of the boiler. The robot moves over the truck which delivers material, for example wood chips, to the power plant. The robot’s collects samples from the truck from the randomly chosen places by drilling into the material.

“The robot takes samples from the different biomass materials arriving to the plant. The method is highly reliable compared to conventional manual sampling. The moisture content of the different parts of the load can also vary greatly” says Juha Huotari, Managing Director of Prometec Oy.

“It was self-evident to us that we purchased an automatic sampler for a new power plant. We need to get samples of each load reliably and automatically. Prometec offered the best possible solution for this” says Jukka Salovaara, Project Manager of the Oulu Energy Power Plant project.

Prometec’s delivery includes, in addition to Q-Robot, 50 Q-Mixer sample processing units installed. Mechanical installations will begin in the fall of 2020.

The automatic sampling robot takes samples before unloading

In Finland, Q-ROBOT has already been installed to Kuopion Energia, Fortum’s biomass fired power plant in Joensuu and to the Napapiirin Energia ja Vesi in Rovaniemi.

According to Huotari, there would be a need for the robot they had developed, as there are thousands of large biofuel power plants around the world. In addition, a number of bioenergy projects are being planned to increase the share of renewable energy in the fuel mix.

According to Salovaara, the new power plant will use about 70 percent of wood as fuel. The rest is recycled fuel and peat. The use of peat in Oulu will gradually decrease and will be completely eliminated in the 2040s. Oulun Energia’s goal is to produce carbon-neutral energy.

The cost estimate for the Laanila bio power plant in Oulu is approximately EUR 200 million. It will be completed in the autumn of 2020. The new power plant will have 215 MW of power and 70 MW of electric power and 175 megawatts of district heat.

Further information: Juha Huotari, CEO tel. +358 50 591 7350, juha.huotari@prometec