Is it better to build a new energy plant, or to modernize the existing one? | Kpa Unicon
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When a plant approaches the end of its predicted life cycle, its service life can be extended through various means of modernization.

We offer modernization services for energy plants of all sizes and types.

Typically, modernization might aim to increase the nominal load of a plant, to extend its service life or to improve emission control systems. In its simplest form, modernization may mean adjusting plant parameters or optimizing combustion; in its broadest sense, it means only the buildings and foundations of the old plant remain.

When is modernization necessary?

It is necessary, for example, when the usability of an old plant begins to decline, operating and maintenance costs increase, equipment and operating requirements require renewal as legislation changes, or critical components form a bottleneck for production.

Our distinctive modernization projects address plant parts that encounter continuous wear and have a failure rate that increases with age. These include parts such as fuel handling equipment, the furnace, boilers and other pressure equipment and incidental systems.

We also modernize plant control, logic and automation systems. Connecting the plant to our comprehensive PlantSys service platform enables remote controlled energy production, digitalization of maintenance operations, and data logging to support plant optimization and decision-making.

In the not-too-distant future, the utilization of artificial intelligence will provide substantial real-time predictive analytics and guidance to manage and enhance the plant’s overall efficiency.

Why is modernization a good option?

When an old plant is modernized, the basic infrastructure, i.e. foundations, buildings, fuel supply, and electrical and automation systems, already exists. When a new plant is built, this infrastructure forms up to about 30 percent of the plant’s outlay. Thus, the cost savings in modernization can be significant when compared to the cost of building a new plant.

In addition, legislation on energy production is constantly being reformed and tightened. Decisions on renewable energy raw materials have a significant impact on energy companies’ investment decisions, for example.

By modernizing the old plant, it can be upgraded to meet the current equipment settings and thus buy some extra time for planning larger investments.