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Fortum inaugurates the first waste-to-energy combined heat and power plant in the Baltics

Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of the Republic of Lithuania, and Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Finland, have today inaugurated Fortum's new combined heat and power plant in the city of Klaipeda, Lithuania. The power plant uses municipal and industrial waste as well as biomass as fuels to provide district heating to the residents and businesses in Klaipeda and electricity to the Lithuanian power grid. It is the first of its kind in the Baltic countries.

"Using sorted waste as fuel in combined heat and power production is a sustainable solution for urban areas. It offers a cost-efficient answer to energy and waste management needs alike, and helps to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to depositing waste in landfills," said Fortum’s CFO Markus Rauramo at the inauguration ceremony today.

"The Klaipeda power plant is the first of four we will inaugurate this year in the Baltic and Nordic countries. Combined heat and power production is at the core of our strategy, and we strongly believe in the benefits of using sustainable, local fuels whenever possible," Mr Rauramo continued.

Fortum's new power plant replaces old natural gas-fired heat production in Klaipeda and reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 100 000 tonnes per year. The transfer to waste-fired combined heat and power generation also considerably increases energy efficiency compared to heat-only production and has a positive impact to the competitiveness of district heating as well as waste management costs.

With an energy efficiency close to 90%, the new power plant's boiler can incinerate 230 000 tonnes of waste and biomass annually, giving it a power production capacity of 20 MW electricity and 50 MW heat. Furthermore, the plant is equipped with flue-gas condensers that enable the recovery of an additional 15 MW of heat at peak demand times.

The plant will produce approximately 140 GWh of electricity and 400 GWh of heat per year, which covers approximately 40% of Klaipeda's district heating demand. Heat from the plant will be sold to AB Klaipėdos energija, which also holds a 5% stake in the power plant.

Plant construction started in March 2011 and took about 1.2 million hours or 750 man-years to complete. Occupational safety was a priority during the entire project and was at a good level with only two incidents causing lost workdays. Fortum’s investment in the new power plant totalled  LTL 435 million or approximately EUR 130 million.

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