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Kemira expands in Joutseno and needs More main grid capacity in Southern Karelia

Fingrid reacted quickly to Kemira’s plant expansion in Joutseno by renewing the main grid in Southern Karelia and building a new substation in the Joutseno area. This ensures that the growing need for power and electricity consumption can also be met in the future.

Kemira has already completed its investment of approximately 50 million euros in a new sodium chlorate production line in Joutseno. The company was able to begin sodium chlorate production and customer deliveries ahead of schedule. The line will reach full production capacity by the end of 2017.

“This will nearly double the volume of sodium chlorate production at the plant,” says Janne Tynninen, who is Kemira Joutseno’s Plant Director. Sodium chlorate is the raw material for chlorine dioxide (ClO2), which the pulp mills use as the primary bleaching agent for kraft pulp.

The consumption of bleaching chemicals is increasing due to the recent pulp mill expansions and new production plants being built in the Nordic countries. We’re ready to meet new demand and we can now serve our customers more effectively,” explains Tynninen as he lists the reasons for expanding production at the Kemira Joutseno plant.

An energy-intensive industrial cluster

Kemira’s plant investment has accelerated Fingrid’s main grid investments in Southern Karelia. While the structural change in the forest industry that occurred earlier slowed growth in the need for electricity, the direction is now different. Kemira’s plant expansion will increase electricity consumption in the area and raise the number of transmissions taking place in the main grid. As a result, Fingrid is now renewing the 110 kilovolt main grid in Southern Karelia and building a new substation in the region.

Grid Planning Specialist Kaisa Nykänen from Fingrid describes Southern Karelia as a challenging region.
“The area has a lot of power production and energy-intensive industry. Electricity production and consumption vary, so sometimes we have to import large amounts of electricity from elsewhere in the main grid,” says Nykänen.

In recent years, Fingrid has been able to meet the demand challenges by developing the regional network step by step. Kemira’s expansion now means moving to the next phase of the long-term plan.

Two transmission line projects in progress

Fingrid currently has two ongoing transmission line projects to renew the main grid in Southern Karelia. Construction andFoundation work in a project to build a 6-kilometre long 2×110 kilovolt transmission line from Onnela in Imatra to Joutseno’s new Vuoksi substation as well as tower assembly and erection will mostly be completed by the end of this year. The required line arrangements will be done next spring.
The second transmission line project is a 27-kilometre long section with 400/110 kilovolt structures from Lempiälä to Vuoksi substation. The foundation work for this section will begin next winter. The other construction work will begin next summer, when the old transmission line becomes unnecessary and can be decommissioned.

“Although this is a normal transmission line project, it requires more special arrangements than usual in conjunction with the work preceding interruptions on the line. In terms of completing the project, the interruptions in the existing grid next summer are very critical, because the construction requires a simultaneous interruption in both 110 kilovolt lines running from Imatra to Lappeenranta. Arranging an interruption on these lines is difficult because they are an important part of the main grid and many customers are connected to them,” says Project Manager Ritva Laine from Fingrid.

A simultaneous interruption in both lines is only possible for one week, which will mean a very busy period of work as the line arrangements are done in several places at the same time. After that, the new Vuoksi substation can be connected to the main grid and the final line arrangements performed.

Vuoksi substation ready for use in summer 2018

The new Vuoksi substation being constructed on Kotakorventie in Joutseno will consist of a 110 kilovolt outdoor switchgear and a control building. The outdoor switchgear will have six line feeders and one bay. One of the line bays is reserved for Kemira. The others will feed Fingrid’s own substations.
“The substation construction work began in April and has progressed according to schedule. The new substation will be completed in summer 2018, when it will be connected to the main grid,” say Project Manager Ville Viita from Fingrid.

The control building was designed with the future in mind, with the possibility to add a 400 kilovolt transformer if necessary. A plot of land for the transformer has also been reserved in the area.
“This is a more cost-effective solution in the long term,” explains Viita.

A normal increase in electricity consumption loads in the area will not require a transformer, but it will be needed if one of the current industrial actors expands its operations or new industrial actors come to the area. •

Kemira Oyj’s Joutseno sodium chlorate plant

• Kemira is a Finnish listed company that produces industrial chemicals

• The expansion of the sodium chlorate plant in Joutseno is one of the company’s biggest investments (50 million euros)

• The second largest industrial project in Southern Karelia in 2016–2017

• Sodium chlorate production at the plant will nearly double from current production volumes

• The plant will employ 80 people after the expansion

• In Finland, Kemira has plants in Joutseno, Oulu, Vaasa, Pori, Sastamala, Kuusankoski and Harjavalta.