Recycling demolition material in Inkoo

In February 2018 the Finnish cargo ship Adele glides to the deep-water harbour in Inkoo, in southern Finland. In the past the ships brought coal from different parts of the world to fuel the big coal-fired power plant in Inkoo. Now, for the first time in its history, Fortum is sending scrap metal by ship to export markets in Europe.

Shipping scrap metal

The world has changed a lot in the 40 years since the power plant was built in 1975-1978. Electricity is now produced increasingly with carbon-free energy like solar and wind. Even if traditional production, like coal, is still needed during the transition period, Fortum decided on the demolition of the outdated coal-fired power plant in Inkoo during the latter part of 2016. The demolition work of the power plant started in spring 2017. The biggest coal-fired power plant in the Nordics instantly became one of the biggest demolition projects in Finland's industrial history.

The demolition of the Inkoo power plant is estimated to generate a total of about 230,000 tonnes of various materials. There is an increasing need for scrap metal on the market all over the world. Therefore, these materials should not be wasted but instead turned into new raw material whenever possible, kept in circulation, and utilized again and again – and, in doing so, saving the environment.

During the first phase of the Inkoo demolition project, when all the auxiliary buildings were demolished, as much as 58 per cent of the demolition material has been recycled: metal scrap, machine parts and pulverized concrete. "In the Inkoo project we aim to recycle as much of the demolition waste as possible," says Site Manager Marko Vuorela from the Recycling and Waste Solutions unit. "We have sold machine spare parts to other energy companies and recycled parts also to our own power plants."

The pulverized concrete generated in the demolition of the power plant buildings is cleaned and used as filler material for the site's old ash basins and to level the land at the site, among other things. The metal fractions are sorted during the demolition process and transported by truck and ship as raw material for the domestic and international steel industry and to companies that recycle scrap metal.

"Scrap metal is valuable raw material for industry. The recycling of metals also conserves natural resources and decreases carbon dioxide emissions because the metal can be melted into new products again and again," says Tero Holländer, Head of Business Development and Product Sales from the Recycling and Waste Solutions unit.

In February the Finnish cargo ship Adele sailed from Inkoo towards Turkey. We have signed a delivery agreement with Cronimet Nordic, one of Europe's leading metal recyclers. The family-owned Finnish shipping company Meriaura, a specialist in the transport of industrial raw materials, is responsible for the sea transport.

"This time the scrap metal will be delivered to a Turkish steel plant, where it will be melted down and turned into new steel for the construction industry. It is fascinating to think that the metal from the old Inkoo power plant's walls will be recycled and become part of new buildings in different parts of Europe," Tero Holländer says.

Fortum's recycling and waste solutions