Energy soon to be derived from oat husk at Hankkija’s Turku plant

Climate targets and the rising cost of fossil fuels are encouraging industry to seek solutions in locally available renewable fuels. Hankkija, a company that specializes in agricultural supplies and machinery, has signed a delivery agreement with Adven concerning Hankkija’s Turku plant. The steam energy required by the plant will be generated by combusting ground oat husk, a by-product of production.

Industrial production, especially in agriculture and the food industry, generates various by-products. These surplus materials from the manufacturing process have no use in the manufactured product at its place of origin.

Hankkija’s plant in Turku produces feed for pigs and poultry. Oat husk is a by-product of the feed production. Adven will use the oat husk as a fuel in the bioenergy steam boiler and deliver the steam as a service to Hankkija’s plant area in Turku.

“Agricultural production and food industry hold great potential for using industrial by-products in heat and steam production,” says Adven’s Sales Manager, Teemu Kivimäki.

“For us, being able to use domestic renewable energy is important,” says Jarno Erkamaa, Plant Manager at the Turku feed plant. “The investment decision hinged precisely on utilizing our own plant’s by-products. This will allow us to be self-sufficient when it comes to fuel sourcing. Our cost-effectiveness will improve, and our domestic content rate will grow substantially. This will bring clear added value to our customers. An integral part of our strategy is the continuous development of our operations, which includes introducing new, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.”

Seeking alternatives to LPG

Hankkija previously used LPG, i.e. liquid petroleum gas, as fuel for steam production at its Turku plant. LPG was a tax-free fuel until the end of 2015, but at the start of 2016, its price nearly doubled due to the tax imposed on it. This prompted many industrial companies to consider alternative fuels to replace LPG. In Hankkija’s case, environmental friendliness was also a criterion.

“Oat husk is a renewable fuel that is produced automatically in our processes. In the future, we will not need to transport it anywhere. We chose Adven as our partner in this, because they seem strongly motivated to do things the way we want to,” says Erkamaa.

Wood pellets will be used as the back-up fuel for the oat husk. The current LPG boiler will be kept for steam production in reserve and peak situations.

Oat husk combustion demands special expertise

Hankkija will deliver the oat husk to Adven’s power plant, which is located in the same plant area, and from there, Adven will produce the process steam to meet Hankkija’s needs. Adven’s new oat-husk-combusting plant will be situated in the existing building that contains the defunct oil-fired boiler.

“We have previous experience of combustion technology for similar hull fractions. Because the fuel, i.e. ground oat husk, is dry, powdery and light, controlling its combustion demands knowledge of combustion technology and the right technical solutions. The moisture content of typical wood-based biofuels is roughly 50 per cent, whereas for ground oat husk, it is only some 10 per cent,” says Kivimäki.

Adven has a similar type of plant, for example, in Jokioinen, where barley hulls are combusted. Collaboration with Hankkija reinforces Adven’s presence in Southwest Finland. Adven already partners with, for example, Finnfeeds in Naantali, and Kavli Oy in Turku.

 

For more information:

Teemu Kivimäki, Sales Manager, Adven, +358 10 344 5122, teemu.kivimaki@adven.com

Jarno Erkamaa, Plant Manager, Hankkija +358 10 402 7254, jarno.erkamaa@hankkija.fi

 

Hankkija

Hankkija is an expert in growth and Finland’s leading agribusiness. The company has its own industrial feed production and is Finland’s largest manufacturer of industrial animal feed. Hankkija manufacturers feed in four plants located in Kotka, Seinäjoki, Säkylä and Turku. The company’s goal is to be the best partner to agriculture professionals and to offer farmers all agricultural production inputs. Hankkija also has the broadest and most diverse agribusiness e-commerce site in Finland.

Hankkija is also a store for active enthusiasts, with a comprehensive and diverse range of gardening, equestrian and pet supplies. Hankkija is Finland’s most significant and largest garden store operator, with a network of 65 stores. The Hankkija Group employs close to 1,000 people and had net sales of MEUR 729 in 2016.

 

 

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