Getting started in Sweden
May 28, 2012, Jönköping, Sweden - Before the World Bioenergy 2012 conference begins, a series of pre-conference tours took place and Canadian Biomass was there.
May 28, 2012, Jönköping, Sweden – It didn’t take long at World Bioenergy before conversations had begun among the show participants – drumming up sales, looking for new technology and learning about how to make bioenergy work in communities around the world.
The first conversation I had of the day took place in the parking lot of Copenhagen Kastrup airport waiting for the pre-conference tour bus to arrive, surrounded by developers of an early stage biomass business project only a few hundred kilometers from the office of Canadian Biomass.
Jason Naccarato, the vice president of development for the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Center in Sault Ste. Marie, came to learn how to build a bioenergy plant that will work in the northern Ontario energy marketplace. Currently in the pre-feasibility stage, the Innovation Centre is hoping that World Bioenergy will help to provide the insight needed to make a biomass plant work in the already-crowded alternative energy marketplace. The Sault Ste. Marie area already has wind and solar energy in the electricity grid, but the area has a very strong supply of wood for wood pellets and the recent close of the city’s pulp and paper mill has left fewer available customers for that supply. There is a need for a solution to help sustain the forestry and wood products business in the area, and a bioenergy plant could provide that solution.
Naccarato was among a strong contingent of people from the northern Ontario area, including equipment manufacturers, transportation innovators, and representatives from both CanBio and the Biomass Innovation Centre.
One of the three stops on the pre-conference tour was Oresunds Kraft, a large CHP plant in Helsingborg. Founded in 1859, the coal-fired plant provided electricity, as well as district heating and cooling. The plant started using wood pellets in 1997, and by 2006 completely switched over to only using pellets for their boiler. The plant currently uses approximately 200,000 tonnes of pellets each year.
One of the interesting facts about the plant is that, despite significant wood product resources in Sweden, none of the products are manufactured locally. The closest source they have available is 300 km away, but price dictates that they come from other sources; most of which arrives by ship at the company’s own quay. In total, seventy percent of the company’s pellets come from a variety of European countries, with the remaining coming from the United States. Most of their pellets originally came from the U.S., but a strongly competitive European pellet market changed that.
Also, the plant uses residual heat from the neighbouring chemical plant to supply heat for the summer for hot water. There is a piping system in place between Oresunds Kraft and the chemical plant that allows for the heat transfer, which then provides 25 percent of summer heat needs in the district. It’s a unique partnership that helps benefit both companies.
Andrew Macklin is the Associate Editor for Canadian Forest Industries and Aggregates and Roadbuilding magazines.