The Lounavoima waste-to-energy plant processes municipal waste sustainably in the Salo region

The Lounavoima waste-to-energy plant will be completed in 2021 in Korvenmäki in Salo. The plant will process up to 120,000 tonnes of municipal waste each year using a new type of grate technology. The construction of the project management-based plant project was finished on schedule thanks to the quick completion of the construction engineering and frame construction phases.

FACTS

COMMISSION

Main structural and element design

SCOPE

Total area approx. 11,300 gross m² and volume approx. 122,000 m³

NUMBER OF CONCRETE ELEMENTS

Around 2,000 pcs

The Lounavoima waste-to-energy plant, owned by Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto Oy and Salon Kaukolämpö Oy, will be incinerating up to 120,000 tonnes of municipal waste per year. Thanks to the new plant, the waste will be processed locally, which will reduce the need for transportation and result in reduced emissions. The plant will produce electricity and district heat for approximately 10,000 detached houses.

“It is wonderful to be part of building a sustainable future, which is the way forward. The waste-to-energy plant is showing us the way,” says Project Manager Joona Hannonen from construction project management contractor Fira Oy.

The design and construction of the approximately 112-million-euro plant project started simultaneously in Korvenmäki in Salo in early 2019. Sweco was in charge of the structural engineering of the concrete structures of the waste bunker, boiler, flue gas scrubber and waterworks, turbine and visitor centre.

“The buildings in the plant area mainly consist of concrete elements,” says Project Manager Samu Ristolainen from Sweco. Lounavoima was the first power plant project he worked on that was implemented as a project management contract. “Industrial projects are usually purchaser-driven, but Lounavoima is an example of how the contractor may also take the lead.”

Solutions honed in cooperation from the start

According to Hannonen, the biggest challenges in the project laid in the interface between the different process equipment suppliers and contractors. “Everyone delivered supplies to the same buildings, making communication a crucial success factor within our busy schedule.”

Open cooperation between the main contractor and the structural engineer was especially important during the early stages of the project. The solutions proposed in the procurement model were reviewed together. “Thanks to excellent design management by Fira we were able to make decisions that suited both parties right from the start,” Ristolainen says. Decisions in principle were only tweaked when it came to some details.

Hannonen, who coordinated design work, also thought that the project ran smoothly. “Ristolainen mastered structural engineering so independently that I thought it best not to meddle! The service was so good that I was able to focus on communications with other suppliers.

Experienced structural engineers save time

Sweco experts utilised their extensive experience with power plant projects in Finland in their work in Salo. Keeping to the schedule was key in order to have equipment installations start on time. “We used element structures as well as cast-in-place structures in the fuel storage building, i.e. the waste bunker, because using element pillars helped accelerate both the formwork and the contractor tasks,” Ristolainen says.

The designers also prepared for changes in advance. “We designed structures and design loads in certain areas so that we would be able to accommodate any missing information and after-fixing needs down the line.

According to Hannonen, the most impressive feat of the plant project was that the concrete frame was designed quickly leading to construction in good time before equipment suppliers arrived on site. “We received the frame design quickly, for which all of the credit goes to Sweco’s expertise,” Hannonen emphasises. “There were no delays on site due to design work, which ensured that we stayed on schedule.”

Picture: Jarkko Korhonen/kameramies.com

"It is wonderful to be part of building a sustainable future, which is the way forward. We received the frame design quickly, for which all of the credit goes to Sweco’s expertise. There were no delays on site due to design work, which ensured that we stayed on schedule. "
Joona Hannonen, Fira