Finland Opens World’s Largest Biomass Gasification Plant

May 22, 2013
Groundbreaking 140-MW biomass gasification plant in Vaasa, Finland, uses Metso technology to reduce fossil fuel use and coal emissions and give flexible fuel capabilities to existing coal-fired power plant.

The Vaskiluodon Voima Oy plant is the first biomass gasification in the world to be adopted on such a large scale for the replacement of fossil fuels. The plant incorporates a number of Metso technologies, including fuel handling, a large-scale dryer and circulating fluidized bed gasifier, modifications to the existing coal boiler and a Metso DNA automation system. The gas produced is combusted along with coal in the existing coal boiler.

“The operational experiences so far indicates that the 140-MW bio-gasification plant functions as planned, and the produced gas burns cleanly in the coal boiler and reduces emissions,” said Mauri Blomberg, managing director, Vaskiluodon Voima.

Nearly half of the coal used by the plant can be replaced with gasified biomass, reducing the environmental impact of producing electricity, enabling the flexible use of different fuels and significantly extending the life of the power plant.

“The commissioning of the gasification plant is a major step in our company’s target of using mainly domestic fuels for heat and electricity production,” said Rami Vuola, chairman of the board of Vaskiluodon Voima and CEO of EPV Energia Oy, joint owner of the plant.

Metso first introduced gasification technology in the 1980s. “Coal boilers still account for the majority of power production in the world,” said Jyrki Holmala, president of Metso’s power business line ( “Bio-gasification technology on this scale offers a new, cost-effective option for increasing the share of biomass and, consequently, for significantly decreasing the use of and emissions from coal.”

Metso is a global supplier of technology and services to the process industries, including mining, construction, pulp and paper, power and oil and gas. Its 30,000 employees are based in more than 50 countries.