Vaskiluodon Voima has opened its 140MW biogasification plant, built at a cost of EUR40m, in Vaasa, Finland.

The plant, which is claimed to be the world’s largest biomass gasification plant, was developed on the site of the company’s existing Vaskiluoto 2 coal-fired plant.

It is expected to cut coal use by about 40%.

The project was delivered by Metso, as part of a contract from Vaskiluodon in June 2011.

As per the deal, the compnay was responsible for fuel handling and modification work on the existing coal boiler and a Metso DNA automation system.

Metso power business line president Jyrki Holmala said that Vaskiluoto’s investment in increasing the use of renewable energy will draw major international attention.

"Coal boilers still account for the majority of power production in the world," Holmala added.

"Bio-gasification technology of this scale offers a new, cost-effective option for increasing the share of biomass and, consequently, for significantly decreasing the use of and emissions from coal."

Metso said that nearly half of the coal used by the plant can be replaced with gasified biomass and the gasification process will largely extend the life of the current power plant.