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Record-breaking biomass CHP plant erected in Denmark

Photo: cowi

​A milestone in the construction of a massive biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant was marked at a topping-out ceremony on Wednesday. The straw-fired plant will provide 20 percent of the district heating in Denmark's second largest city and support the ambition of being carbon neutral by 2030.

​The driveway of AffaldVarme Aarhus's new incinerator plant in Lisbjerg, Aarhus will see plenty of activity, once Denmark's largest straw-fired CHP plant opens later this year. A total of 67 lorries – with trailer – are expected to daily deliver straw to the plant, which will meet 20 per cent of Aarhus's district heating demand.

Construction started in 2014 and yesterday the rooftree was put up on the new plant, which will play a key role in realising Aarhus's ambitions for the city's heat supply to be carbon neutral by 2030.

"We've had some challenges, for instance we encountered poor soil conditions, which pushed back the time of commissioning a bit. Other than that, construction has gone mostly according to plan," says Project Manager Erik Vilstrup Sørensen from AffaldVarme Aarhus.

Fighting climate change and stimulating economy

A straw-fired CHP plant is carbon neutral, because straw in the fields binds CO₂ from the atmosphere, which is released again upon incineration. Repeating this process year and after, CO₂ is circulated, thereby not generating additional environmentally harmful discharge.

The plant will also stimulate the local labour market and economy, since much of the straw will be provided by local farmers.

Some 130 people are involved in the massive project, including COWI employees, who have been in charge of design and tendering services, among other things.

"The large cities have pretty much stopped using coal in CPH plants, and are instead generating heat and power from straw, wood chips and wood pellets. COWI has contributed to this green conversion for years, and we will continue to focus on solutions that can curb environmental and climate problems without compromising supply reliability," says Jens Bjørnmose, Vice President of COWI's Thermal Power department.  

FACTS

  • ​Investment: DKK 1.3 billion (including new district heating transmission line and client costs)
  • Input effect: 110 MV
  • Power production: approx. 38 MV
  • Heat production: approx. 78 MV
  • Annual fuel consumption: 240,000 tonnes of straw
  • Storage capacity: 67 hours (3,168 bales of straw)
  • Supplementary fuel: Wood chips can make up 50 per cent of fuel based on amount of energy.

LAST UPDATED: 16.03.2017