Biomass power plant solutions: How to turn biomass into value | Customer stories

Saalasti solutions are the market leaders for biomass power plants, where there is a need to improve the processes, capacity, and quality of the material.

We are the market-leading partner for companies that handle different kinds of biomass. Read our customer cases where our solutions are successfully used in biomass power plants.

Solutions for biomass power plants: The benefits of Saalasti partnership 

Our machines offer many benefits, such as a long lifespan, tremendous capacity, and the ability to process challenging biomasses, such as round logs, cargo pallets, bundles, and pre-crushed stumps. 

Successful change from coal boilers to biomass boilers 

Company: E.ON Centrale de Provence

Location: Gardanne, France 

The German E.ON, one of the largest energy companies in the world, uses Saalasti Feeders and Chippers in the power plant in Gardanne. In 2012, the company decided to shut the old coal boiler down and convert one of their existing coal boilers to a 600MWth wood-based biomass boiler. Before the transformation, the coal power plant was 2500MW. 

The make the enormous scales, there was a need for big capacity for biomass processing. The biomass power plant would consume wood about 900 000 tonnes per year, both imported and locally. 

The enormous scale required a large capacity biomass processing solutions.

To ensure a steady supply of biomass fuel to the boiler, E.ON started to construct a chipping platform close to the boiler’s location. E.ON opted to install a Saalasti Chipper 1218H, which can process up to 100 tons of biomass per hour. This translates to an impressive yearly capacity of approximately 300,000 tons.

Saaasti chipper is used to transform various woody biomass forms into combustible forms. This includes everything from round logs to reclaimed wood from demolition sites, cargo pallets, bundles, and pre-crushed stumps. The chipping process reduces the material to size P63. 

>> See the whole story here (pdf). 

Biomass power plants got tailored machine adaptation to rapidly changed needs 

Plant: Dalkia Atlantique, Smurfit Kappa Comptoir du Pin Paper Mill 

Location: Biganos, France 

Forest industry company Dalkia Atlantique operates a biomass power plant, where there was planned to start a new era in paper making with the help of stump retrieval with a special Saalasti stump processor.  To meet the annual demand of 500,000 tons, the plant planned to utilize 170,000 tons of stumps collected from the Landes Gascogne forest.

But then the cyclone “Klaus” changed plans overnight: In just one day, a massive 39 million cubic meters of forest were cleared – a staggering four times more than the typical annual harvesting amount.

The wood brought down by the storm was not fit for paper production, but it could be used for energy use in biomass power plants. Saalasti was able to adapt the Saalasti stump crusher to be suitable for the processing of round wood. 

The new installation of Saalasti Chipper 1218H made it possible to produce  150 tons of energy chips per hour from various sources such as round logs, forest residue bundles, and pre-crushed stumps. Later the specialized Saalasti PreCrush stump processor was added to the processing line.

It is notable that the PreCrush can remove up to 20% of sand from stumps, reducing wear and tear on equipment at every stage of the process. 

The Saalasti solution has now separate loading areas for both stumps and round wood.

>> See the technical details here (pdf). 

A massive improvement in the production of renewable energy with noise emission regulations

Company: Dalkia 

Location: Lens, France 

Dalkia, a subsidiary of French utility company EDF,  invested in a new 22MWth biomass-fired power plant in Northern France. Thanks to Saalasti’s solutions, the power plant generates approximately 6.2 MWe of electric power. It is recognized as part of the French Energy Regulation Commission’s CRE3 program, which aims to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy on a larger scale.

Dalkia installed a high-capacity, on-site biomass processor, which secured the continuous biomass supply and massive capacities. The solution was to install Saalasti Chipper 1212H, which can process 70 tonnes per hour of all kinds of biomass, from pre-crushed stumps to trees and logs.

The solution is optimized for long dimensional woody biomass.

The was also a need for noise reduction, as the site locates near a residential area and nature reserve. Saalasti’s solution was to install a special long noise reduction tunnel, which makes the solution more suitable for a delicate environment.

>> See the technical details here (pdf). 

A solution tailored for eucalyptus bark in biomass power plant 

Company: Alvarez Forestal S.A. 

Location: Reocin, Cantabria, Spain

Forestry company Alvarez Forestal specializes in processing fast-growing species such as Eucalyptus globulus and Pinus radiata. Since 2012 the company has operated in a biomass-fired power plant, which serves its plant and also the grid. The barks and branches are loaded on the Saalasti Feeder in the power plant and fed into Saalasti Chipper 1212H.

Eucalyptus is a great species for pulp production with good fiber characteristics, but it must also be processed specially. 

 One of the major challenges in processing eucalyptus is the high level of embedded sand. The sand is a result of the tree’s rapid growth in silt-rich soil and can cause significant wear and tear on machinery. Additionally, the bark of the eucalyptus tree is highly resistant to cutting forces, presenting an additional challenge in the processing of this type of wood.

Saalasti’s solution has improved the processing of eucalyptus drastically. With Saalasti Chipper 1212H, the bark is processed clean-cut particles with minimal “fluffy” texture that could weaken the quality.   

Saalasti’s solutions help to process demanding eucalyptus biomass with great energy value.

>> Read the main numbers of the solution here (pdf). 

Alvarez Forestal

A huge capacity rise in the pelletizing plant 

Company: Biosyl

Location: Cosne-sur-Loire, France 

Biosyl, a French leader in renewable biomass energy, converts wood waste and debris into low-carbon emission energy, in the form of wood pellets. In the Loire valley pelletizing plant, Biosyl had a remarkable plan to raise the capacity of pellet production. At first, the processing capacity was 65 tonnes per hour in the particle size P32, but the aim was lifted to over 100 tonnes per hour. 

One of the key factors that led to the selection of Saalasti technology was its ability to increase the processing power of biomass. The power plant was installed with 2 X 355 kW motors (total 710 kW), with the plan to upgrade to 2 X 500 kW motors in the future. This upgrade will increase the plant’s biomass processing capacity to a total of 100 tons per hour.

The capacity raise was possible with Saalasti’s biomass technology.

>> See the whole story (pdf).

More efficient solution than mobile crushers and chippers

Company: Moulin TP

Location: Monistrol, France 

Moulin TP processes biomass for combustion purposes, and the plant is one of the biggest woody biomass producers in the area. Before the year 2013, Moulin TP was relying on mobile solutions in biomass production in the Monistro sur Loire plant. 

Since the change to Saalasti’s solutions, Moulin TP has been able to drastically raise the capacity and improve the processes. 

With the help of Saalasti machines, Moulin TP terminal could produce 120,000 tonnes of biomass per year and serve 17 customers. As demand grows, the platform can double its capacity to 250,000 tons per year. 

>> Read more about the case here.

Moulin TP

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