Vaasan Sähkö has commissioned Elomatic to design and project manage a future heat pump plant

Vaasan Sähkö will have a plant built at the Pått wastewater treatment plant to recover waste heat from treated wastewater. The heat will be fed into the district heating network, where it will be sufficient to meet the needs of almost 2,000 private homes. Elomatic is responsible for the entire project, from the planning and procurement phase to construction management and commissioning. The project has gotten off to a good start, and the pieces have fallen into place for seamless cooperation.

Vaasan Sähkö’s heat pump plant is a great example of the circular economy: one investment that utilizes waste heat equivalent to the annual heating energy of all the private homes in Vaasan Sähkö’s district heating network.

Elomatic has designed heat pump plants before, especially for industrial applications. However, this is the largest overall project. Interest in similar projects has clearly increased, and Elomatic is currently working on the concept design of another similar solution.

– Heat pumps have developed so rapidly in recent years that this kind of heat recovery has become profitable, says Anne Kujanpää, Project Manager at Elomatic.

In cities, district heating is the fastest way to move to a zero-emission era

The Pått wastewater treatment plant treats wastewater from the entire city of Vaasa and part of the wastewater from the neighboring municipalities of Mustasaari and Maalahti. The waste heat from the treated water is fed into the district heating network.

“It is better to invest in one efficient heat pump system instead of forcing a couple of thousand single-family home owners in our region to switch their heating to zero emissions themselves,” says Juha-Matti Karvala, Project Manager at Vaasan Sähkö.

According to Karvala, the district heating network serves as a platform for a circular economy, and the Pått heat pump plant is a good example.

“Heat recovery is definitely the way of the future,” Kujanpää adds.

Elomatic brings a wide range of expertise to the project

The project, which started in early 2022, is now in the contracting phase. Elomatic is the EPCM supplier for the project, which means that in addition to design and procurement, it is responsible for construction management and commissioning.

“This is a major project for Vaasan Sähkö and EPCM’s implementation is a good fit, as we want to be involved in the project throughout its life cycle,” says Karvala.

“In addition to extensive planning expertise, supervision and coordination, Elomatic will provide us with up-to-date reporting on the overall progress of the project, including forecasts and necessary decisions,” he continues.

Elomatic’s solid experience shows

At Elomatic, the aim is always to select the project team such a way that the expertise of each individual is utilized in the best possible way. Most of the designers involved in the project have experience in industrial projects over a longer period of time. Some have been involved in heat pump projects before.

“Yes, it shows that the designers are experienced. The most important thing is that they are able to carry out their work to a high standard within their own experience and that information is passed between different locations,” Kujanpää says.

“When cooperation is smooth, the work is a pleasure”

The project is well on schedule, and construction is expected to start in October 2022.

“Our cooperation has been great, and Elomatic has managed the whole thing smoothly,” says Karvala.

“Vaasan Sähkö has a team of experts involved who have put a lot of effort into the project. We have managed to get things done together in a really good team spirit,” says Kujanpää.

Kujanpää stresses the importance of people enjoying their work and a good and open atmosphere.

“Good communication, both within the project team and with the client, helps to achieve a good outcome in all respects,” she says.

About the project

What: Waste heat recovery from treated wastewater
Price: approx. EUR 11 million
Grant: EUR 1.9 million investment grant from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Energy: 50–60 gigawatt hours (GWh) of heat/year
Planned commissioning: end of 2023

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