The trial run period for the new power plant commenced last October, and the plant started providing heat to UPM and Lappeenrannan Energia in the same month. The exceptionally cold winter made it possible to test the plant at maximum capacity. The power plant located at UPM Kaukas' mill complex has been fully operational since November.
The power plant is fueled by bark, branches, tops, stumps, small wood and peat. The power plant is Finland's largest user of solid biomass, ie. wood which cannot be used as raw material for higher-grade processes. The plant's annual fuel consumption is around 2 000 GWh, which means about 20 000 truck loads. Biomass accounts for approximately 80 % of the plant's fuel supply. About half of it is bark from wood used at the sawmill, pulp mill and paper mill of the Kaukas mill complex. The plant's thermal power is 385 MW. Its electricity generation capacity is 125 MW.
"The long and demanding project was completed a few weeks ahead of schedule and under the 244 million euro budget", says project director Erkki Repo. At its peak time, more than 500 people worked at the project site. Today, Kaukaan Voima provides employment indirectly and via services for some 30 people. The plant buys operating and maintenance services from UPM Kaukas mills.
"The fuel supply for the plant is based on long-term agreements ensuring stability for the pricing of energy products. In the future, the plant will replace a significant part of the energy previously generated using natural gas by UPM and Lappeenrannan Energia", says Jukka Kiuru, Managing Director of Kaukaan Voima. In the future, Kaukaan Voima will cover over 80 % of the district heating supply for the city of Lappeenranta. The location of the plant at the heart of the Kaukas mill complex and near other large-scale forest industry mills creates a sound basis for cost-effective procurement of wood-based fuels.
Kaukaan Voima Oy is co-owned by Pohjolan Voima Oy with a 54 % share and Lappeenrannan Energia Oy with a 46 % share. The plant operates at cost price.