Fortum has expanded its operations in Poland with the commissioning of its first combined heat and power (CHP) plant in the country.

Fortum has been building up its business in Poland through the acquisition of district heating companies but says that the new plant will be its first in the country generating electricity. It will also be one of the first in Poland to use significant quantities of biomass as a fuel.

The new plant – located in Cz_stochowa – will be co-fired with coal and biomass, generating 120 MWth and 64 MWe. It is already compliant with the EU’s particulate and nitrogen (NOx) emissions regulations scheduled to take effect in 2016.

Biomass has not been widely used as a fuel in Poland but will have an important role to play in reducing the country’s CO2 emissions, says Fortum.

“CHP is the most efficient way to utilise biomass in energy production. Our goal is to use at least 100 000 tonnes of biomass a year at the Cz_stochowa plant, accounting for about 25 per cent of the plant’s fuel consumption,” said Fortum’s Per Langer, Executive Vice President, Heat Division.

“About 60 per cent of the biomass used will be wood residues and 40 per cent agro-based biomass,” added Langer.

Fortum currently has district heating operations in over 40 municipalities in Poland. The biggest networks are in the cities of Wroclaw, Cz_stochowa and Plock.

In 2009, Fortum’s heat sales in Poland were 3.7 TWh.