Vattenfall to convert Danish power plants for biomass feed

DENMARK - The board of Sweden's state-run power company, Vattenfall AB, has approved a plan to rebuild the company's power plants in Denmark in a bid to reduce consumption of coal and increase the use of biomass.

The conversion plan, named MaxBio by Vattenfall's engineers, promises to bring down the amount of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere by about 27%. MaxBio intends to replace up to 724,000 tons per year of coal and prevent the release of at least 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.

The plan is scheduled to come into effect in 2018.

The success of MaxBio will contribute significantly to Vattenfall's goal of turning the company's energy production process in the Nordic region into a carbon-neutral process by 2030.

According to Hans von Uthmann, Vice President and Head of Vattenfall Norden, the goal of the company is to convert electricity generation into a clean process so that consumers do not feel guilty about using electricity, given the growing concerns about global warming. Uthmann added that every member of the Vattenfall Group was involved in revamping the company's power plants and production processes in a way that could satisfy the world's need for clean and environmentally friendly energy.

While the plan is a large undertaking and cannot be achieved overnight, Vattenfall has already laid out plans to gradually bring down carbon-dioxide emissions every year. In the Nordic region, Vattenfall intends to invest more than $10 billion until 2016 to make MaxBio a success. The new MaxBio plan will require an investment of about $863 million.

Using biomass instead of coal is a fast and efficient method of bringing down carbon-dioxide emissions. With the implementation of MaxBio, Vattenfall intends to convert three Danish heat plants at Amagerverket, Fynsverket and Nordjyllandsverket into biomass-fueled plants. The plants may become completely biomass-fueled or use a combination of coal and biomass.

Wood and straw will be the resources used initially, followed by other types of biomass fuel.

According to biofuel regulation standards, only 15 to 17 materials are currently defined as biomass fuel, while all others have been defined as waste. The company hopes that more types of biomass fuels will become available in the near future.


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