“Elcoline’s experienced team overcame the challenges and took the turnkey delivery of the steam boiler successfully across the finish line”

Elcolinella ja Kotkan Energialla on pitkä yhteinen historia. Kuvassa Antti Lanki Kotkan Energialta ja Matti Käki Elcolinelta. Kuva: Elcoline

Elcoline is a long-term maintenance partner of Kotka Energy, which is based in southern Finland. One of the largest projects of the year for Kotka Energy was the replacement of the waste-to-energy plant’s boiler components, the main purpose of which is to secure the energy supply in the coming winter. In the context of the six-figure project, Elcoline’s SVS Supervise Service unit handled the workshop fabrication of the steam boiler components and their turnkey delivery, including the installation.

Kotka Energy’s Operating Manager Antti Lanki, who is responsible for the waste-to-energy plant’s maintenance, particularly appreciates Elcoline’s reliable and efficient project management.

“It was a smart decision to have the steam boiler components made by Elcoline instead of abroad, for example. The project was completed as planned and on schedule, despite the current global situation. Naturally, the increased prices of materials has been a challenge from the start, since Ukraine produces a lot of metal pipes and materials. Fortunately, the investment decision, partner choices and most of the material purchases were done early in the year when the war had not yet broken out. And since everything was made domestically, there was no need transport goods from abroad. Elcoline is a reliable company, the prices are reasonable and they can handle projects of this nature.”

“In the event of failures, we always first call the people we know at Elcoline”

Kotka Energy and Elcoline have more than a decade of shared history working with power plant boilers. The annual cooperation has typically included yearly maintenance, pressure equipment repairs and the handling of unexpected failures, such as boiler and pipe leaks.

“In these situations, we always first call the SVS people we know at Elcoline. We put larger investments out to tender, but Elcoline has always fared well in the competitive bidding.”

The boiler project was one of the largest investments of the year and will secure the energy supply for the winter

The recently completed boiler project was one of the largest investments of the year for Kotka Energy.

“The project involved the planned replacement of the boiler components – the superheater and the feedwater heater, which is also known as the economizer. Boilers wear down more quickly than usual in waste incineration. We prefer to replace the parts before they break. In the current situation, the most important thing is to secure the energy supply so that we can produce energy through the coming winter. In other words, we classified the project as a replacement investment.”

Elcoline manufactured a new section, roughly equivalent to half of the superheater’s size, from material that withstands wear better than before and connected it to the old superheater at its engineering workshop in Voikkaa. Elcoline also handled the replacement work. The economizer was designed in collaboration with the engineering firm before its production at the Voikkaa workshop. The pipes were received early in the year, and Elcoline finished the installation work in two weeks at the turn of September and October when the plant was shut down for maintenance.

“Elcoline’s installation manager and team of experienced fitters overcame the challenges and took the project successfully across the finish line”

“We just pressure tested the boiler and found that everything was firmly and tightly installed. The service test utilizes higher-than-normal water pressure to ensure that the pressurized section can withstand the requisite pressure.  We have yet to fire up the boiler, but our expectations have been met so far.”

The design process had its challenges in terms of the economizer, and there can always be surprises with plants that have been in operation for a long time.

“Elcoline’s people were very helpful in these situations, too. Having people we know at the workshop thinking up solutions with us made things easier. Some challenges came up during the installation, but Elcoline’s installation manager and team of experienced fitters overcame the challenges and took the project successfully across the finish line. We also managed to keep to the schedule. The group of about 20 people who worked on site, 7–8 people per shift, handled the work extremely well. We had no complaints with the welding seams, and everything was firmly installed. The installation manager ran the project very well.”

This year, Kotka Energy also completed a smaller project at the Hovinsaari power plant. The plant’s air preheater was replaced.

“At the Hovinsaari plant, too, the boiler has worked well after the repairs. It is an obvious benefit that we know each other and the fitters are familiar with our plant. Elcoline knows our operating conditions and facilities. This is a benefit to us and Elcoline, since there are no major surprises.”

“We can call Elcoline at any time”

“Elcoline answers the phone at all times, even at Christmas and on other holidays, and they can always arrange help with leaks, for example. This willingness to help is very important to us. We have always felt that the people at Elcoline do everything they can to assist us. Moreover, Elcoline’s fitters understand that in sub-zero temperatures in winter, the work must be done as quickly as possible. They know that it’s expensive to keep a power plant out of operation in particularly cold temperatures.”

So far, Kotka Energy has not had the need to use services provided by Elcoline in other municipalities.

“We have seen Elcoline’s growth and strengthened foundation in the excellent availability of resources. Elcoline has many experts available, so we can always find the ones best suited to our tasks. I have recommended Elcoline to many people and will do so again. The boiler circles are quite small, and there are only a few companies in Finland that repair and update boilers. It’s always a good feeling to be able to say that everything went according to schedule, that the costs stayed within the agreed budget, and that people should contact Elcoline for an offer. The company has also been flexible if there has something to fix.”

SVS Supervise Service, which is part of Elcoline, has focused on manufacturing, installing, repairing and maintaining industrial steam boilers since 1996.