The BioPAD project visited the North Karelia region of Finland last week.
The visit and learning event was co-ordinated by project partners Metla (the Finnish Forest Research Institute) and was jointly held with REMOTE, another NPP project, and PKBEV a project whose mission is to facilitate the development of bioenergy business in Pielinen Karelia region. The visit included study tours of bioenergy sites in the region, and associated meetings and discussions on the development of bioenergy in the partner regions.
BioPAD project partners brought participants from their regions to Finland, These participants have an interest in bioenergy development to see the variety of bioenergy projects and enterprise possibilities in North Karelia and to gain an understanding of how the region of has developed a significant bioenergy economy.
To start the dissemination event a workshop was held to inform participants (many of whom were from Finland) about the BioPAD project and the ongoing Supply Chain analysis. The BISCUIT (BioPAD Supply Chain Unique Integrated Tool) was demonstrated.
In the afternoon we climbed onto a bus for a tour of some of the bioenergy sites in the Pielinen Karelia region. The tour visited to the Kuittila Farm, which is a large farm business where a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit has been producing electricity and heat for the farm since winter 2012.
We also visited a fuel harvesting site and then went on to the Nurmes district heating plant where participants learned about the development and management of district heating and gained an understanding of the benefits of this biomass fuelled system.
The next day we started with a workshop on bioenergy development in North Karelia and the socio economic benefits of bioenergy use in this rural region. There was lively discussion of the issues faced by partner countries in seeking to emulate the bioenergy development which has taken place in Finland.
In the afternoon BioPAD visited the Tulikivi company which produces high quality high value soap-stone fireplaces for the global market. Soapstone has considerable heat retention properties making it an excellent fireplace and stove material.
The final visit of the tour was to the Fortum Pyrolysis oil plant which is part of the Joensuu Fortum CHP district heating plant. This pyrolysis production is the biggest leap forward in bioenergy for Finland in the last 10 years. The factory is producing bio-oil from woody biomass to substitute fossil oils in heat production.
The BioPAD visit to Finland was a great success. Participants saw practical examples of bioenergy in action and had the opportunity to learn about bioenergy policy in a successful bioenergy region. Discussion and debate about what we had seen and learned was fun and effective.