Elkem Saltens new energy recovery plant opened

Prime Minister of Norway,  Jonas Gahr Støre opened the new energy recovery plant at Elkem Salten in Nordland on Monday 15 November. This is one of the most energy efficient silicon plants in the world. Norsk Energi has been involved in this project and congratulates Salten Energy Recovery with the commissioning of this plant.

- The new energy recovery plant is a good example of how the transition to a more sustainable industrial production increases economic values and international trade, creates new jobs, and at the same time cuts emissions," told Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

The new energy recovery plant will cover 28 per cent of the electricity demand at Elkem Salten, equivalent to the electricity consumption of about 15,000 Norwegian households. Together with other energy recovery installations operated by Elkem,  this plant increases company’s total output of recovered energy to approximately 900 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year, equivalent to the power output of the largest wind farm in Norway!

"Elkem aims to be a part of the solution to combat climate change and to be one of the champions in the green transition. The new energy recovery plant at Elkem Salten, developed together with our partners in Kvitebjørn Energi and with financial support from Enova – the Norwegian Energy Efficiency Agency, further strengthens our ability to produce silicon and ferrosilisum with the lowest possible carbon footprint and resource use," says Helge Aasen, CEO of Elkem.

Elkem Salten

.Norway's Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, at the official opening of the energy recovery plant. He visited the plant on Monday 15 November, together Ove Sørdahl, managing director at Elkem Salten. Photo: Elkem.

The EMIL Award 2021
The Norsk Energi’s Energy and Environment Prize (EMIL Award) for 2021 was awarded to Salten Energigjenvinning AS in June 2021, for the recycling of waste heat at Elkem Salten Verk in Straumen, Nordland. The energy recovery plant, which recycles about 28% of the electrical energy in the plant's three furnaces, has made Elkem Salten one of the world's most energy efficient silicon plants.

-The Salten project alone recovers almost as much energy as half an Alta power generation plant, said Jon Tveiten, CEO of Norsk Energi during the award of the prize.

The project started in 2018, when Elkem began a collaboration with Kvitebjørn Energi. They have established the special purpose company Salten Energigjenvinning AS to construct an energy recovery plant to utilize the heated exhaust gases from the furnaces in Salten. The investment is approximately NOK 1 billion, and is the second largest investment Enova has ever made available for co-financing.

Utilization of the hot exhaust gases from the furnaces for electricity production is not a new thought in the Elkem Group. For 40 years, they have focused on this, and many projects have been carried out. The 270 GWh that will now be recycled in Salten brings Elkem's total energy recovery up to a total of 900 GWh.

Elkem Salten produces silicon in three reduction furnaces. Like other silicon and ferroalloy plants, the work has a formidable consumption of electrical energy. The hot exhaust gases from the furnaces contain a lot of energy, approximately of the same magnitude as the plant's total electricity consumption. To date, the hot and dusty exhaust gases have been transported through a 400-metre long uninsulated exhaust gas channel from the furnaces to the filter plant that cleans the exhaust gases of dust before the purified exhaust gases are emitted to the atmosphere.

The hot exhaust gas from the smelter's three furnaces is cooled in three steam boilers. Steam from the boilers is directed to a steam turbine for the production of electric power. The steam turbine is located in a new building that includes side buildings for electrical and automation equipment and feed water systems. 6000 m3/h seawater for cooling must be pumped from a new seawater station. Seawater is collected in a new seawater pipeline 1.5 km into the fjord.

Norsk Energi's role in project:
In the Salten project, Norsk Energi is responsible for the design basis for boilers, steam turbines and auxiliary equipment for the energy recovery plant and has designed technical specifications. Norsk Energi has followed up equipment deliveries, assembly, start-up and training of the operating operators.

Contact at Norsk Energi:  Thor Brønlund

Source: regjeringen.no, Elkem og Norsk Energi.

Elkem Salten NE 321 06 EMIL prisen 2021 foto av energigjenvinningsanlegget på Salten