Oxelösund switches district heating provider from SSAB to Vattenfall

Oxelö Energi

Vattenfall will be supplying 100 GWh of heat to Oxelösund, which will mainly be produced by the Idbäcken CPH plant in Nyköping. Photo: Vattenfall.

Large areas of Oxelösund are currently heated using surplus heat from SSAB, but electrification of that company´s process means elimination of this heat source. As from 2027, district heating will come from Vattenfall´s plant in Nyköping instead. FVB has been commissioned to conduct the feasibility study, design and construction of the new pipe to Oxelösund.

Linking Nyköping and Oxelösund with district heating is an issue that's been investigated many times, including by FVB. But up to now, it had concerned using SSAB's surplus heat to heat Nyköping. The line was never built, and the new pipe now being constructed will carry heat from the biofuel district heating plant at Idbäcken in Nyköping, in order to heat both towns.

"Oxelö Energi is mainly a district heating distributor, even though we do have reserve capacity. Buying surplus heat from SSAB has worked well for us and our customers. We currently have one of the lowest district heating prices in the country and would have been happy to continue with the setup, but because SSAB is about to convert its production, it means less surplus heat and we needed to find an alternative source," says Lars Larenius, CEO at Oxelö Energi.

"We've been looking at the option of building our own production facility, but the alternative of buying heat from Vattenfall was strategically and financially better," he says. A total of around 100 GWh of district heating will be involved, which Oxelö Energi will buy from Vattenfall. The heat will come from the Idbäcken CPH plant, but Vattenfall is also extending the service life of two biofuel furnaces.

"We will provide the basic load to Oxelösund, which entails supply security of around 95%. The peak and reserve plants they currently have will be retained," says Siv Victor, Vattenfall Värme Sweden's project sponsor.

A good solution
"This is an excellent commercial arrangement, not only in regard to cost, but Oxelö Energi will also get a solution for their operations, as we have an operations team available around the clock," says Siv Victor, to which Lars Larenius adds:

"If we had opted for building a new plant, we would have had to establish a completely new organisation for production, something we don't have to do now.

By buying district heating from Vattenfall, we also get green energy. That was another key element of our decision. The district heating we currently get is generated from fossil fuels and we would never have chosen a new source that was fossil-dependent," concluded Lars Larenius.

Higher demand for heating means that Vattenfall is extending the heating season at the plant, expecting production to increase by about 30%. This also means that the plant is able to produce more electricity, which is extra important when demand increases.

To link Oxelösund and Nyköping, a new DN 400/630 district heating pipe just under 12 km long will be laid. A water pipe will also be laid along half of the line in Nyköping Municipality. Oxelö Energi will own the district heating pipe, but NOVF (Nyköping-Oxelösunds vattenverksförbund) will own the water pipe.

FVB conducted the feasibility study for the new district heating pipe. The process involved obtaining all necessary permits, which was done by sub-consultant Michael Hertin and includes contracts with landowners, lessees and the Swedish Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authority (Lantmäteriet). Getting permits as part of the feasibility study was possible because the project had already been greenlighted.

The district heating pipes will mostly be laid in open countryside, but there are still challenges to be overcome. Leif Norberg at FVB shows a map of the route which indicates the pipe has to cross a river and pass under three major roads.

"Initially, we thought we could run the pipe over an existing bridge above the Kila river, but it was in poor condition, which means we have to build a pipe bridge instead," he explains.

Various drilling techniques required
To cross the major roads will call for various types of drilling techniques, depending on what's most suitable for each road. Auger drilling will be used under two of them, which is ideal through materials such as sand and clay. One of the roads runs over rock, which will probably mean that hammer drilling is required.

"The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) is responsible for the roads and will not permit them to be dug up. We will also have to drill under a municipal road," says Leif Norberg.

The project is now in its final design phase and will be put out to tender in the autumn. Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2025, and the pipe is expected to be ready to be commissioned in early 2027.

For more details, contact:
Leif Norberg: +46 (0)13-25 09 42


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