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Investment of 6.5 million euros in sustainable fuel at location in Greiz. Start of preparation work for construction. Commissioning of expansion scheduled for the end of 2022.
Koehler Paper is converting the power plant at its production location in Greiz from pulverized lignite to fine wood fraction fuel. The experts at Koehler Renewable Energy, which is also part of the Koehler Group, have succeeded in developing an innovative technique that makes it possible for a type of biomass to be used as fuel in the existing coal-fired power plant in a completely new way. The converted plant is scheduled to be commissioned at the end of 2022, and preparation steps for the start of construction in Greiz have already been taken.
The conversion project is part of Koehler’s sustainability strategy, as the Group has set a goal of pro-ducing more energy from renewable sources by 2030 than is required for its paper production operations. Udo Hollbach, Managing Director of the Koehler Paper site in Greiz, is delighted about the conversion: “Switching from lignite to fine wood fraction will allow us to save more than 24,000 metric tons of CO2 emis-sions per year at the Greiz plant.” With an investment of 6.5 million euros in this power plant conver-sion, the company is once again highlighting the fact that its focus on sustainability does not begin and end with sustainable products. “We’re very happy to be able to kick off the construction phase with the corresponding preliminary work,” Hollbach continues.
Construction steps and planned completion
Structural and engineering measures need to be taken and extra silos purchased so the new fuel can be used in the existing heat and power plant. The preparation work, such as setting up the work site and building the site road for the planned construction, is currently proceeding full speed ahead at the Greiz location. One of the next steps is a slope removal stage that will include the corre-sponding rock removal and make it possible to start the actual construction work. The plan is to com-plete the structural changes at the plant by the end of the year.
A significant reduction in CO₂ and sulfur emissions
The paper processing and drying processes require enormous amounts of energy, which is why the company decided to build its own power plant at the Greiz location all the way back in 2010. It has a rated thermal input of 16.7 MW and generates up to 19 metric tons of steam according to demand, as well as electricity to supply the production plant. Pulverized lignite has been used as the fuel until now, but this is set to change by the end of the year with the aforementioned conversion. Sieved fine wood fraction from wood processing and wood preparation are to be used as the new fuel. In addition to reduced CO2 emissions, this will result in significantly lower sulfur emissions in compari-son to pulverized lignite.