September 17, 2014

Pöyry nurses projects into life

Finland’s largest waste-to-energy plant is being inaugurated today.
Finland’s largest waste-to-energy plant is being inaugurated today.
Pöyry

Finnish consulting and engineering group Pöyry nurses some of the world’s biggest infrastructure projects to life.

From a power plant in Saudi Arabia to a rail link in Switzerland, from a dam in Turkey to a windmill in Sweden, Pöyry is working behind the scenes, turning the dream into reality.

Take Finland’s largest waste-to-energy plant, which is being inaugurated today. The plant is designed to handle 320 000 tonnes of waste a year and once operational will provide enough power to keep 200,000 apartments lit and 100 000 heated a year.

Pöyry’s involvement in the project began with an environmental impact assessment in 2006. It’s only just walking away now.

“Seven to eight years is the typical duration of a large investment project from strategic level to operation,” says Mika Pohjonen, Vice President Sales. “That’s for a conventional plant. If we were talking about a hydro power plant or a nuclear power plant, we would be talking about 12 to 20 years.”

Spotting trends

The company’s key sectors are power generation, transmission and distribution, forest industry, chemicals and biorefining, mining and metals, transportation and water.

Mika Pohjonen sees sustainable energy production and efficient use of energy as future megatrends.

Mika Pohjonen sees sustainable energy production and efficient use of energy as future megatrends.

Pöyry

In his 17 years with the company, Pohjonen has seen a shift in emphasis.

“With the stagnation of recent years in Europe, we have clearly increased our focus in South East Asia and Middle East. Within energy, the emphasis on renewable energy has risen all the time.”

Pohjonen says the company’s background in Finland in biomass-based energy production stood it in good stead when it came to exporting that expertise. And he sees two megatrends dominating the next 20 years.

“One is towards more sustainable energy production meaning renewable and the other is towards much more efficient use of energy.”

Years ago, Pöyry began integrating sustainability and energy efficiency in its projects from the outset rather than add them at the end as was common practice in the past.

Beneficial impact

Meanwhile in Vantaa, the new waste-to-energy plant is expected to have a significant beneficial environmental impact on the city and the surrounding area.

Thanks to the new plant, Vantaa Energy will use about 30 per cent less fossil fuels in electricity and heat production. The plant will also substantially reduce the amount of household waste that will be landfilled.

It’s that deep understanding of local conditions which Pöyry benefits from globally. The company has an extensive local office network employing about 6 000 experts.

The new waste-to-energy plant is designed to handle 320,000 tonnes of waste a year.

The new waste-to-energy plant is designed to handle 320 000 tonnes of waste a year.

Pöyry

Text: Vincent Landon

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