A local operator knows every nook and cranny of his plant

Thomas Nyholm started work as a plant operator in early 2017, working in one of Adven’s plants in the town of Hanko, Finland. Nyholm manages a process steam plant that supplies steam for the production process of Genencor, an industrial enzyme manufacturer with a production facility in Hanko. Owned and operated by Adven, the process steam plant mostly runs on a range of biofuels.

“My main priority as a local operator is to ensure that the plant's energy production is as reliable and safe as possible,” Nyholm says.

In practical terms, this means constantly optimizing the energy production process, performing servicing and preventive maintenance and ensuring that the plant’s production remains as even and stable as possible. As a local operator, he is also responsible for the day-to-day monitoring of the plant's efficiency and the parameters associated with its operation.

Efficient work with excellent local reach

Having worn the company overalls for a year, Nyholm says he is very happy with the efficiency with which matters are handled at Adven.

“As an Adven employee, I feel proud of how efficiently we are able to run our plants. Even with minimal resources, we are able to manage a large network of plants. Of course, there is always room for improvement, and we are constantly seeking new efficiencies and ways of optimizing our operations,” Nyholm says.

Nyholm was also positively surprised by the close customer contact his work at Adven involves.

“We at Adven will get in touch with our customers whenever we notice something that might have an effect on their process. This could be anything from deviations we have identified to potential improvements we have come up with,” Nyholm says with satisfaction.

Climate-friendly fuels require special expertise from operators

While reclaimed wood may be a climate-friendly alternative to other fuels, it is also considerably more challenging to work with.

Different reclaimed wood fractions have different moisture levels and other properties, which means that their combustion properties vary greatly. When a high output is required, the plant operator must have the expertise and knowledge to determine an optimal fuel ratio for achieving the required level.

“Fuels with a high moisture content are cheaper, but they do not always provide as much heat as completely dry materials. In many cases, the focus of my work is finding a suitable ratio between different wood and fuel grades,” explains Nyholm.

“In summer, the wood we use can be too dry, which means that it will burn too quickly and generate too much heat. In winter, impurities and metals, which are always present in biofuels, can cause problems.”