Horizontal chipper delivered to biopower plant will ease the shift away from fossil fuels

Saalasti delivered a horizontal chipper to Oulun Energia’s Laanila biopower plant in Oulu, Finland. The chipper will have a crucial role, as the CHP plant aims to increase the use of energy wood in producing fuel for a bioenergy plant while reducing the use of fossil fuels.


Horizontal chipper helps to raise the capacity of biopower plant

Laanila’s biopower facility focuses on modern energy production by efficiently generating electricity, district heating, and process steam. The plant plays an essential role in carbon-neutral energy production, towards which Oulun Energia is determinedly moving.

The facility using cutting-edge technology was opened in 2020. The biopower plant has a flexible boiler that can adjust to different fuel types and proportions, allowing for integration with nearby bioeconomy.

Laanila power plant will phase out the use of peat and shift to wood as the primary fuel source. The types of wood used in the process can be, by-products of the forest industry (bark, sawdust) and pruned logging residue, unpruned energy wood, logging slash, or recycled wood.

Investing in an efficient on-site chipper was necessary to increase wood chipping capacity.

“The horizontal chipper is an important strategic investment that allows us to improve the reliability of chip deliveries, react to peak consumption periods, and reduce seasonal variations in production,” says Lauri Heilala, Director of Fuel Sourcing in Oulun Energia. 

From now on, electric horizontal chippers will replace fossil fuel-based operations.

Chipping is performed with an electric-powered stationary chipper instead of a fossil-fuel powered mobile machine, which is essential for achieving carbon neutrality targets.

Photo by Oulun Energia.


More efficiency and lower usage of fossil fuels compared to a mobile crusher

Oulun Energia weighed the advantages of an on-site chipper and mobile crushers in the procurement process. The horizontal chipper was found to have many winning features that would secure resource needs.

The on-site horizontal chipper offers high capacity and a clear production chain.

“The capacity of the horizontal chipper is in a class of its own compared to mobile chippers. Especially in the winter season, we traditionally needed a lot of mobile chippers. Mobile chippers needed many trucks, which also consumed a lot of fossil fuels”, Heilala states.

“Additionally, when the on-site chipper is on our premises, the production chain is more manageable”, he adds.

The horizontal chipper is more cost-effective and energy-efficient than a mobile chipper. The payback period is reasonable, considering its high capacity and energy usage.“

Besides higher capacity, energy used by the horizontal chipper is also more environmentally friendly, as the need for fossil energy is minimized.

“We can use the on-site chipper with our electricity, which is both cost-effective and better for the climate than a mobile chipper running on fossil fuels”, Heilala says.

Starting the new project: Saalasti’s Project Manager Henri Kuismin, Oulun Energia’s Director of Fuel Sourcing Lauri Heilala and Project Engineer Samuli Korpela. Photo by Oulun Energia.

Smooth communication throughout the delivery process

Oulun Energia is pleased with the turnkey delivery process and the smooth communication with Saalasti professionals.

Saalasti was chosen as a partner due to both their impressive product range and their experience.

“Saalasti listened carefully to our needs and tailored their solutions accordingly, making the process easy. Also, in these times, collaborating with a domestic company is always a plus”, Heilala tells.

The machine is scheduled to be fully operational in 2024.

“We look forward to getting the horizontal chipper in operation.” Heilala ends.

 Oulun Energia

  • Operating in energy production and heat and electricity network services in the Oulu area.
  • The city of Oulu is the owner of the company, which was founded back in 1889.
  • Aiming to carbon-neutral energy production by 2030.

Read more about Oulun Energia.

Saalasti Horizontal Chipper for biomass

  • Especially suitable for power plants and biomass terminals that require high capacity.
  • Handles various materials: all clean wood-base and impure materials such as wood-based construction waste.
  • The capacity ranges from 150 to 600 I-m3 / h (P63). The width of the chipper system can be up to 2.4 meters.
  • Can be converted into a chipper by changing cutting tools  – this allows the processing of various materials during the long lifespan of the machine.

Read more about horizontal chippers.

Contact us to hear more about Saalasti’s solutions!