EPV Heat produces electricity and heat in its CHP plants in Vaasa, Seinäjoki, Tornio and Raahe. In addition, it produces peat and acquires wood-based fuels for the production of electricity and district heating in the Seinäjoki and Vaasa regions.

2018 was a year of important business transactions and investments within EPV Heat’s business area. The activities of the Seinäjoki power plant were purchased in their entirety and are now owned by EPV Energy. Investment decisions on new technologies make power plants more efficient.

For EPV Heat, 2018 was a year full of significant reforms. The largest of these was the business transaction made by EPV Energy on the Seinäjoki power plant. EPV acquired the entire Seinäjoki power plant from Vaskiluodon Voima, including its employees and all its land. In future, the power plant will be managed by the new subsidiary founded by EPV: Seinäjoen Voima Ltd. The land was transferred to EPV Bioturve Ltd., also a subsidiary of EPV Energy.

This business transaction makes the ownership of the Seinäjoki power plant clearer and its operations more efficient. The business transaction has no effect on the Vaasa power plant owned by Vaskiluodon Voima, as this will continue to be owned by EPV Energy and Pohjolan Voima in equal shares. The operative collaboration between the Seinäjoki and Vaasa power plants will also continue as before.

The production and the savings from improved efficiency at the Seinäjoki and Vaasa power plants exceeded expectations

The work to make the organisation of Seinäjoen Voima and Vaskiluodon Voima more efficient in 2018 achieved its goals in full and targets were even exceeded. Both the Vaasa and Seinäjoki power plants had a good year of production. There were two unplanned shutdowns in Seinäjoki. The annual maintenance of both power plants was carried out as planned.

Tornion Voima’s investments reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency

The installation of Tornion Voima’s natural gas burners for reserve power boilers was completed. Now all the reserve power boilers can be used with natural gas and carbon monoxide, which eliminates the use of fuel oil and the resulting emissions. Thanks to the new burners, sulphur, particulate matter and nitrogen emissions are reduced.

In Tornio, an investment decision was made on the heat pump technology, which improves the energy efficiency of the preheating of the combustion air. In addition, X-ray technology was also acquired for the power plant in order to use it to analyse incoming wood-based fuels. When the quality information of a fuel is improved, there will be less need for manual work, damage to equipment can be avoided and determining thermal value will be more accurate.

No other deviations were discovered at the annual service of Tornion Voima except the damaged hot-gas duct found during the winter of 2017–2018. The duct was reinforced and repaired, which is why the power plant had a shutdown of five days in May.

Raahen Voima introduced natural gas

The new boiler unit of EPV’s partnership company Raahen Voima works as planned. Now that the new LNG terminal in Raahe has been completed, natural gas was also successfully used as an additional fuel in the boiler unit. The industrial by-product gas was previously already used in Raahe. Thanks to natural gas, the power plant’s flexibility in the electricity market will strengthen further.

A record-breaking year for peat production

EPV Bioturve purchased Vaskiluodon Voima’s peat production business and the company’s land. In connection with the transaction, the peat production staff also became employees of EPV Energy. By the transaction, EPV Bioturve became the largest fuel supplier for the Seinäjoki and Vaasa power plants.

After years of meagre peat production, the warm, dry summer of 2018 resulted in high production volumes of peat. In fact, peat production was three times that of previous years. Due to the dryness and wind, however, the summer was unusual, causing extensive wildfires in Finland. In EPV’s peat production area in Ohraneva, Kauhava, there was also a wildfire that was spread by a gusty winds from the peat production area to the forest. Fortunately, the excellent cooperation of the local fire department, defence forces and EPV staff and partners ensured that the fire was contained.

Woodtracker creates a channel for the international fuel market

Together with six other Finnish energy companies, EPV has established Woodtracker Oy whose operations began in 2018 with the monitoring of the international fuel market’s price level. The company will specialise in procuring bioenergy from the international energy market.

It is Woodtracker’s mission to build a reliable and competitive import channel to secure the procurement of energy raw materials in case there are problems with domestic supplies.  Combining the entire energy procurement chain allows the companies involved to operate on an industrial scale and to ensure competitive availability of fuel in any situation.

EPV Energy’s electricity acquisition

Total heat production of Vaskiluodon Voima and Tornion Voima