FOCUS FINANCE & ECONOMY
By Lars Gullev, Managing Director, VEKS
Well thought out heat agreement between a producer of surplus heat and a district heating company ensured both parties an economic gain at the project's realization. This article describes the background and content of a heat agreement between the company CP Kelco and the district heating company VEKS - both located near Copenhagen, Denmark. BACKGROUND CP Kelco is a US-owned company that produces pectin, a natural starch. The company is located in Lille Skensved approx. 40 kilometres from Copenhagen. Pectin can be found in apples and in the shells of citrus fruits - and it is exactly the peels of citrus fruits that are used by CP Kelco at the factory in Denmark. The factory in Denmark is the largest of its kind in the world, and 98 % of the production is exported. We often encounter pectin (E-440) when we eat processed foods such as marmalade, desserts, ice-cream, ketchup, or dairy products such as yogurt and smoothies. The process used to extract the pectin from the citrus peels involves large amounts of energy, and at the factory in Lille Skensved, the excess heat from the process has so far been emitted to the surroundings via large cooling towers. VEKS operates a large district heating transmission network in the western part of Copenhagen and the local district heating distribution network in the town of Køge, situated right next to the CP Kelco factory. It was therefore natural to look more closely at whether the large amounts of unused surplus heat from the production of pectin could be utilized in the local district heating network in Køge. CP Kelco and VEKS already know each other well. Already in 2008 the parties had been working together with Solrød municipality in order to examine the possibilities for Solrød municipality to establish a biogas plant, where part of the organic "waste" for the plant was to be composed of citrus peels from CP Kelco. In addition, seaweed from beach cleaning, slurry from cattle and pigs, and residual products from a pharmaceutical company were to be supplied to the biogas plant. The biogas from the plant was to be purchased by VEKS,
which would utilize it in a gas engine for the production of green electricity, and the surplus heat from the engine was to be used for heating of district heating systems.
Existing cooling towers, which will, in the future, only be used as back-up if the district heating system cannot receive the surplus heat from the process at CP Kelco
The biogas plant was officially inaugurated in November 2015, and VEKS bought the first biogas from the plant at the end of 2016, when the biogas was sufficiently clean to be used in a gas engine. The experience from the collaboration between CP Kelco and VEKS regarding the biogas plant was so positive that the parties without reservation again in 2015 took up the collaboration with the goal of utilizing the surplus heat from CP Kelco to district heating targets, while at the same time both CP Kelco and VEKS should be able to see a financial gain from the possible realization of the surplus heat project.
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