Topping-out ceremony celebrated at Kaukaan Voima's biomass power plant in Lappeenranta

(Lappeenranta, 18 September 2008) - The topping-out ceremony of Kaukaan Voima's biomass power plant is celebrated today, 18 September 2008. The power plant is a joint project of Pohjolan Voima, city-owned power company Lappeenrannan Energia and UPM. The vast project has proceeded as planned. The new power plant will go on stream in early spring 2010, replacing Kaukas’ old bark boiler and most of the capacity of Mertaniemi power plant operated by Lappeenrannan Lämpövoima.

”Kaukaan Voima's biomass power plant is the biggest individual investment in the history of the city of Lappeenranta and Lappeenrannan Energia. This is the third major energy investment for the city of Lappeenranta; the first one was at the beginning of the 20th century and the second in the 70's. The new boiler will have thousand times more heat surface and will generate four thousand times more electricity than hundred years ago”, sums up Reijo Kolehmainen, the CEO of Lappeenrannan Energia and the vice chairman of Kaukaan Voima's board of directors in his keynote address.

Civil works started in summer 2007 with excavation works and deep compacting of soil, continuing with the casting of the new 115-metre stack in autumn 2007. The size and shape of the buildings started to show as the foundation works for the new boiler building were completed and the frame erection of the turbine and boiler buildings was carried out during the winter. The civil works related to the storage, reception and handling of biomass were commenced at the beginning of 2008. The steel frame of the boiler building rose to its final height of 63 metres on 15 August 2008.

There will be altogether 20,000 m³ of cast-in-situ concrete structures on the site, about 14,000 m³ of which now complete. Two million kilogrammes of reinforcement steel will be installed in these structures, which is nearly the same amount as is used in the boiler building's load-bearinig frame.

The erection of the boiler's pressure frame proceeds along with the remaining civil works. In October, the erection works will take the leading role.

Approximately 60 separate civil contracts have been made, plus a numerous amount of smaller purchases and framework and engineering contracts. More than two hundred contractors, subcontractors and suppliers have worked in the project so far, over 30% of them from South-East Finland, and over 220 local people. The project’s degree of domesticity is about 70%.

Today, there are 330 people working on the site, around 100 of them foreigners from ten different countries. At its peak next spring, the headcount will be about 600.

Kaukaan Voima's power plant will produce steam and electricity for UPM's Kaukas mill complex and district heating and electricity for Lappeenrannan Energia. The power plant will have a thermal power of 385 MWTH and electrical power of 125 MWE. The biomass to be used as fuel includes bark and forest energy such as branches, tops, stumps and thinnings as well as peat.

For more information, please contact:
Mr Erkki Repo, Project Director, Kaukaan Voima, tel +358 40 758 6990