Dong is upgrading Denmark's largest power plant to use wood pellets

Source: Dong Energy

Denmark is making good progress with its efforts to phase out conventional energy. The energy company Dong Energy has now announced that Denmark's largest power plant in Avedøre will be completely transitioned to wood pellets by 2016, making it the largest biomass power plant in the country.

All remaining units for district heating at the Avedøreværket power plant, which is located 10 km south of Copenhagen, will be completely converted to firing wood pellets. The power plant has an electrical capacity of 793 MW and a thermal capacity of 918 MW. Avedøreværket supplies approximately 200,000 households with district heating in the Copenhagen area. The power plant consists of two units: Avedøre 1 and Avedøre 2. Together they have a generation capacity of 825 MW. The Avedøre 1 block was built in 1990 and is mainly coal-fired. Avedøre 2 was built in 2001 and already utilises pellets as fuel in addition to both gas and oil. Dong Energy will now upgrade the entire Avedøreværket power plant to biomass fuel by 2016, making it possible to increasingly use wood pellets instead of coal and gas.

Biomass must be sustainable

Commenting on the increased use of wood pellets, Dong stressed in a press release that only biomass from sustainable forestry will be fired at Avedøreværket. For this purpose, the company has designed a system of certificates and audits together with international partners. In order to ensure uniform sustainability criteria for the procurement of biomass, the company is also participating in the 'Sustainable Biomass Partnership' (SBP) initiative. European energy suppliers, pellet producers and testing organisations have teamed up in the initiative. The suppliers have made a commitment to fulfil the highest EU requirements. The wood for Avedøre comes from by-products of industrial timber processing as well as sustainable forest management, and 60% of it comes from the Baltic States. The second largest supplier is Portugal with 22%, followed by Russia in third place with 11%.

Wood pellets drastically reduce CO2 emissions

Even when the processing and transportation of the wood pellets is taken into consideration, emissions are still reduced by approximately 90% compared to the coal and gas that was used previously, according to Dong Energy. During the past nine years, the company has been able to reduce the use of coal by 65%. CO2 emissions have been reduced by 41% since 2006. This is equivalent to the emissions of six million cars per year.

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