Comfort and attractiveness of the district heating Today MPEC generates energy in its two sources – the city heat plant Kortowo having five hard coal-fired boilers with a nominal capacity of 29 MW, and Kortowo BIO equipped with a 25 MW-boiler with a 4 MW flue gas heat recuperator, using wood chips as the source of fuel. An external source of heat is the CHP plant of the Michelin plant, where MPEC Olsztyn contracts 100 MW of thermal power. MPEC also has local gas- fired boiler rooms with a total capacity of approx. 5 MW and two natural gas engines with a full thermal capacity of approx. 1.3 MW. MPEC has continuously been investing in its heat sources, has been expanding and competing, bearing its customers' benefits in mind. It has been replacing its old, worn-out channel-type DH network with a modern pre-insulated one. Out of 170 km of network, 122 km are now the modern pre- insulated type, characterized by much lower transfer losses, increased efficiency, and better environmental properties. It interconnects 1,573 substations. There are four pumping stations within the network, improving heat distribution considerably. Constant development and modernization of the network facilitates connecting new consumers. Currently, over 60% of Olsztyn inhabitants and institutions use DH. What is the secret? Quality of service comes first to mind. Safety of deliveries, comfort, and reliability comes next. Together it forms the customers' opinion that DH is environmentally friendly and comes with a socially accepted price level.
A new era of district heating – new challenges The MPEC of today is faced with brand new challenges related to the efficiency of system functioning and ecological demands. A few years ago, preparations started to transform the heat generation model, which used to be 98% coal- based. The first step was the erection of a 25 MW modern and automated biomass-fuelled heat plant in 2019. The biomass used as fuel is in the form of post-timber production wood chips, characterized by high humidity. A vital component of the heating plant is the flue gas heat recuperation system, upgrading the plant's total efficiency to 93%. Also, coal-fired boilers in the city heat plant undergo modernization regarding installing a modern flue gas cleaning system. Reducing dust, SO2, and NOx content will allow the source to meet the BAT requirements while at the same time decreasing total emission four times and increasing heat generation efficiency. Investment to change the Olsztyn power and waste management sector Another new project is a municipal waste thermal treatment plant. In the incinerator, the waste product (after recycling) will be used as a heat source, then supplied to consumers. The plant will be a high-efficient cogeneration facility, also producing electricity. Waste collection for the plant will cover 700 thousand inhabitants of the region, treating <30% of the waste not suitable for recycling and/or reuse. It is worth noting that using the waste as a fuel source was appreciated by both the domestic institutions and the European Commission, which granted EUR 40m for the project. The installation will meet the most stringent environmental criteria, exceeding even the current norms required by the new BAT Conclusions. The plant will be a state-of-the-art installation both in Poland and in Europe. The system will be supplemented by an independent natural gas/oil boiler system of 70 MW capacity. The entire facility is within the public-private partnership framework, thanks to which the voivodship will acquire a modern installation for thermal waste processing, and Olsztyn an ecological source of heat to cover the needs of its inhabitants for many years to come. The plant is scheduled for launch in mid-2023. Energy-Efficient System – the only constant is constant change. The company hopes to receive the status of the energy-efficient DH system over the next few years. Hence investments in an environmental-friendly energy system and increasing energy efficiency must meet the new standards and avoid harsh penalties connected with rising CO 2 emission costs. This will, in turn, translate to the stabilization of heat generation and waste management costs. Now, a reduction of 60,000 tonnes of CO 2 is assumed per year. After the construction of the new CHP plant, it will further increase by 75,000 tonnes. The emission of landfill gases will decrease by almost a million tonnes. After the investment is completed, the energy sector profile in Olsztyn will look much different. In the modernized system, the heat will be generated in 57% from local-sourced renewable fuels (municipal waste and biomass) and 39% from coal. Natural gas will supplement the remaining 5%. MPEC faces a series of further challenges, like achieving coal independence and by 2050, it will be completely eliminated from the fuel mix
CAPEX Last year MPEC Olsztyn invested over EUR 10.5m, increasing the CAPEX level to EUR 15.7m in 2020. The network expansion and creation of over a hundred new substations will enable connection of more, new customers. MPEC has also been replacing group substations with individual ones, aiming to reduce costs. There is a growing interest in connecting to theDH network, with new connections planned as far ahead as 2022. An important task will be implementing one of the largest housing co-operatives in Olsztyn, which has been supplied directly from the Michelin heat plant. However, Michelin will soon stop delivering the heat to the city. MPEC-generated heat is now the choice of not only housing co-operatives and developers building new buildings, but more and more small housing communities, including those from the older parts of town. People appreciate the reliability and functionality of this solution compared to the need to have a gas-fired boiler. The Olsztyn DH network has also been supplying buildings outside the city limits – one of the neighboring municipalities chose the safe and comfortable MPEC heat.
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