Condensing power production
Fortum produces condensing power in Russia and Finland. In 2014, the Nyagan power plant in Russia produced base-load power. The Meri-Pori power plant in Finland supplements other electricity production when electricity demand is high. Annual condensing power production therefore fluctuates considerably based on the market situation. Fortum’s condensing power production in 2014 was 7.2 (2013: 4.6) TWh, i.e. 10% of the company’s total electricity production.
Condensing power plants generate electricity only, and the thermal energy from condensing is released into the environment as waste heat. For that reason, the generation efficiency of condensing power plants is clearly lower than that of CHP plants.
The Nyagan power plant in Russia has three modern natural gas-fired combined-cycle units. The Nyagan power plant is located in a scarcely populated industrial area in Western Siberia, where oil and natural gas production require a lot of electricity but there is no need for a corresponding amount of thermal energy. The plant’s efficiency is over 55%, which is very high also on a global scale. The efficiency of traditional condensing power production in Russia is 40% at best. By comparison, the Nyagan power plant saves about 9 TWh of fuel annually, which is more than the city of Helsinki’s annual consumption of district heat. Because of the good efficiency, the Nyagan plant’s emissions are much less than that of traditional condensing power production.
In Finland we produce condensing power only at the Meri-Pori power plant. The plant’s main fuel is coal. The Inkoo power plant was decommissioned in February 2014.
The environmental impacts from condensing power production are essentially the same as those from combined heat and power production. The difference is the heat that is released into the environment through the cooling waters. The Nyagan power plant in Russia is equipped with cooling towers that allow heat from the cooling water to dissipate into the atmosphere. The Meri-Pori power plant uses sea water for cooling, and the warmed cooling water is pumped back into the sea. In open sea areas, the impacts of the increased temperature are local and minor.