Vantaa Energy has the smartest waste-to-energy plant in Finland

May 20, 2015

The waste-to-energy plant built for the city of Vantaa in September 2014 doesn’t just process waste, but also produces energy from it.

This power plant produces an amount of electricity equivalent to € 20-30 million worth of imported energy. The waste vanishes whilst producing electricity at the same time.

Vantaa Energy has invested € 300 million in the plant. The waste that functions as the energy source is collected from a region between Hanko and Porvoo, with the northernmost municipality in the collection area being Nurmijärvi. In the past, mixed waste collected in the area was transferred to landfills, but the mixed waste of around 1.5 million Finns now ends up at the plant, and through the facility to the electricity and district heating network.

In just 24 hours, around 200 waste vehicles pass through the plant. Transported waste is poured into a bunker, where it is mixed and, if necessary, also crushed. Later on, the waste is burned, resulting in steaming water that rotates electricity-generating turbines.

From the beginning of 2016, no organic waste will be allowed to be taken to landfills. The change in waste legislation spurred the construction of the plant. Construction work on the site began in 2011. Test runs were carried out at the power plant in March 2014, with the building finally being taken into use on 17 September 2014.

Impressive walls with panels

The outer walls of the plant were built using Ruukki's sandwich panels. Sandwich panels are prefabricated wall elements, comprising two sheet metal layers, with an insulating layer in-between. The building comprises 20,500 square panels and their installation was carried out by Ruukki's cooperation partner Rovakate, i.e. RKC Construction Ltd. The installation project involved the installation of shell structures and the roof with accessories. At its peak, there were up to 20 installation people on the site. RKC also designed the panels for the building.

“The installation of panels to this building was not a typical project. The building is tall and has long spans. In addition, the shape of the building required a great deal of attention from the installers. The installation project was very successful,” says project manager Petri Mahanen from RKC, who was responsible for the installation project.

One criterion was an elegant industrial building

Project manager Kalle Patomeri from Vantaa Energy states that the most important criterion for the building was its suitability for industrial use, as well as its appearance.

“The Ruukki sandwich panels on the walls are particularly suitable for industrial buildings, as they do not require constant maintenance.”

“An advantage of sandwich panels is that during the construction phase, the premises were able to be quickly protected from the changing elements,” adds Petri Mahanen.

The building also had to be elegant. Attitudes towards the waste-to-energy plant have been cautious, but an impressive looking building has made the plant more acceptable. Therefore, the most visible façades are made from clad steel.

“Ruukki’s panels are top-quality products. Quite a large amount of steel has been used in this building, so supply reliability was important for us,” says Patomeri.

Capability through cooperation

Vantaa Energy's waste-to-energy plant was the first large one of its kind to be built in Finland. The building is 180 metres long and 115 metres wide. Its height corresponds to that of a 13-storey building.

Kalle Patomeri is pleased with the project and the fact that it remained on schedule. The site had plenty of teams who participated in the project and the tasks were concatenated. The panel installation was very successful. “RKC had their own workers at the site. If it were possible to have a construction company that had their own men at the site, we would always choose them instead of linked working groups. It would reduce possible hassles and the quality would be better,” says Patomeri.

RKC’s Petri Mahanen also adds that the ability of the customer to guide the construction, according to a schedule, is a success requirement for locations with several contractors. The management of Vantaa Energy's work was excellent.

Patomeri encapsulates the plant construction project: “The construction project was successful in every way – and the building doesn’t even smell.”

Recent news