New district heating network at Herøya Industrial Park to provide environmentally-friendly heating of buildings

Using the excess heat from Yara’s calcium nitrate factory, Skagerak Varme has expanded its capacity at Herøya Industrial Park. From autumn 2017, the company plans to deliver waste heat to around 90,000 m2 of the industrial park’s buildings. Building owners Herøya Industripark AS and Bilfinger are looking forward to utilising the waste heat.

Satisfied partners outside Skagerak Varme’s new heat station in Yara’s calcium nitrate factory; (from left) Anders Holst, Yara, Lene Rambekk, Herøya Industripark AS, Are Vegar Hansen and Tom-Erling Svendsen, Skagerak Varme, and Stian Hansen, Bilfinger.

Skagerak Varme’s first district heating system at Herøya, phase 1, was opened in 2005, using waste heat from Yara’s compound fertiliser factory 4. The system has supplied Porsgrunn with 25 GWh of energy, equivalent to the consumption of 2,000 households.

Almost ten years ago, Swedish company Vattenfall completed a study which pointed out the opportunities to utilise more waste heat internally within Herøya Industrial Park, including for the heating of buildings. 

External and internal network

Skagerak Varme’s new system reuses heat from Yara’s calcium nitrate factory. The total capacity of the two systems is 46 GWh, with the possibility for expansion to 55 GWh. 30 GWh is sent out of the park to customers in Porsgrunn, and 16 GWh will be distributed via a new district heating network, phase 2, internally within the industrial park.

Herøya Industripark AS (HIP) and Bilfinger have recently entered into an agreement with Skagerak Varme regarding the supply of district heating to 12 large buildings comprising around 90,000 m2 in total. Among HIP’s buildings is the administration building and the research park. Bilfinger will receive district heating for both the company’s office building and workshops. The district heating will replace the steam heating system that is currently used.

NOK 60 million in investments

map on Heroya industrial park

The new district heating network at the industrial park will supply the administration building, the research park, and Bilfinger’s office building and workshops with energy.

The agreement between the parties is based on Skagerak Varme AS making all investments relating to the district heating network and customer centres, and that they will also be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the systems. 

The investments will total around NOK 60 million, and have been approved by Skagerak’s board of directors, on the condition that the project is granted investment support from Enova. A response from Enova is expected in late September.

Greater output and a lower price

"Our calculations show that district heating provides a 6-8% lower energy consumption due to a more efficient utilisation of heat. The price of district heating will also be lower than the current heat source," explains Tom-Erling Svendsen, Development Manager at Skagerak Varme. 

He emphasises that Yara has shown great willingness to collaborate on the district heating project, and that the company has been keen to share the waste heat. Anders Holst, Yara’s Energy Manager, points out that the solution is also good for Yara.

"Yara is concerned that resources should not go to waste, and believes this to be a very good solution. It is fundamentally right to recycle low-temperature energy into heating for buildings, while energy with a higher temperature can be recycled to the steam network and be used for industrial purposes. This is a win-win situation for everyone – and not least for the environment," stresses Anders Holst, who hopes this investment may create a foundation for further expansion of the district heating network in Grenland.

Stable and sustainable

Lene Rambekk, Operations Manager at Herøya Industripark AS, is looking forward to being able to use district heating rather than steam in selected buildings. "This provides us with a stable and sustainable energy supply, and for us as building owners there will be fewer systems to operate, since Skagerak Varme are taking on a greater responsibility," emphasises Lene Rambekk. 

Bilfinger’s Geir Folkestad is also extremely satisfied with the agreement, which will provide financial benefits in addition to environmental ones. "We currently have many old energy systems that need to be operated and maintained, and in the future Skagerak Varme will take responsibility for their operation and maintenance," he explains.  

New customers in phase 3

Skagerak Varme’s application for an expanded licence for district heating is currently out for hearing. At the same time, Enova is processing an application for support for the project. Tom-Erling Svendsen from Skagerak Varme believes that both bodies will respond positively. 

It is also positive that the new licence contains the possibility for a phase 3, with further expansion of the district heating network at the industrial park. District heating may then be supplied to buildings in the eastern part of Herøya Industrial Park, such as Herøya Business Park’s buildings, the REC buildings, and others.