Port of Aalborg, which owns and operates the coal and oil terminal at Nordjylland Power Station, has commenced a modification of the heat supply to the terminal’s four 55,000 cubic-metre tanks, which in the coming months will change from being heated by steam from Nordjylland Power Station’s Unit 3 to being connected to Aalborg’s district heating network.
Already this year, the tanks will become independent of heat from Nordjylland Power Station, whose last coal-fired unit is due to be decommissioned in 2028.
- Upon conversion of the heat supply, we will move heating the tanks by steam from coal to heat generated by Aalborg Utilities’ district heating network. This represents another significant step in the future security of the terminal at Nordjylland Power Station as well as a substantial reduction in the tanks CO2 impact of between 80 and 90 percent, says CEO of Port of Aalborg, Claus Holstein, and continues:
- We have long known that Nordjylland Power Station is facing a major transformation in 2028, which also means that we have had to find another way to heat our tanks. We could have chosen e.g. gas or wood chips, but we have seen tremendous benefits in district heating, although it has not been without its challenges, as it is not a common solution. There are great advantages to this solution, especially when it comes to sustainability, since much of the district heating supply in Aalborg is currently derived from waste heat, while Aalborg Utilities has broader ambitions and plans for further green transition.
He further explains that Port of Aalborg is in dialogue with Aalborg Utilities about optimising the supply of heat.
- We are going to establish a relatively advanced control of the heating system with a view to both optimising energy efficiency of the tank operations and scheduling consumption according to heating supply operational status. The tank installations are extremely well-insulated and therefore do not require constant heat input. This means we can e.g. ease our heating demand when there is a shortage of supply in the district heating network and conversely, we can accept more heat during periods of surplus heat in the supply network. This way, the tanks can act as a “buffer” for Aalborg Utilities.
Aalborg Utilities is similarly positive about the project. Director at Nordjyllandsværket A/S, Jesper Høstgaard-Jensen, says:
- At Aalborg Utilities, our aim is to convert everything that is heated by coal, oil and gas to district heating. This conversion is an example of a specific and demonstrable, large-scale project, where the industry takes the initiative. We are extremely pleased with this form of cooperation.
Part of a larger renovation
Conversion of the heat supply also represents the final phase of an extensive renovation of the four tanks, which prior to Port of Aalborg acquiring the coal and oil terminal at Nordjylland Power Station in 2015, had been inactive for 15 years.
- When we took over the site, it was with the clear ambition to re-establish operation of the tank facilities. Consequently, we commenced a huge renovation project and modernisation of the tanks with an emphasis on insulation, reduction of electricity consumption, motor control optimisation etc. Moreover, we currently lease all four tanks, which is really positive, says Claus Holstein.
The tanks were previously used as fuel oil storage for electricity production at the power station. Today, they have been repurposed primarily for the storage of low-sulphur bunker fuel that meets the strict environmental requirements for the Baltic Sea. Indeed, it is the storage of bunker fuel that necessitates the critical control of the heat supply. The fuel must be stored at a stable temperature which varies depending on the fuel type.
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