The heating plant at Lunawood Oy's Kaskinen mill underwent a major modernization project during 2021.

What makes the project exceptional is its delivery time: the entire project, from order to delivery, was completed in just five months. Demolition, installation and commissioning were executed in only 12 days.

Lunawood manufactures heat-treated timber at its mill in Kaskinen. The mill has an annual production capacity of 67,000 cubic meters. Due to the high demand for the products, the planned downtime of the mill and the power plant was to be kept as short as possible.

“Production downtime usually lasts 7 to 14 days, depending on the scope of the maintenance work. The market pushes us to perform the necessary maintenance and repair work as efficiently as possible,” says the Lunawood Mill Manager Jari Viitasalo.

The energy needed for Thermowood production is generated by a bio heating plant delivered by KPA Unicon in 2001. The modernization of the heating plant became topical as the plant’s energy balance changed.

Thanks to the modernization, the overall efficiency and energy effectiveness of the heating plant improved. At the same time, the plant’s life cycle was extended by approximately 10 years.

“The technology in the 20-year-old plant is not at the end of its lifespan, so the partial renovation was profitable,” says Esa Kukkonen, Sales Manager at KPA Unicon.

Well begun is half done

The modernization was carried out in two phases: a separate, smaller delivery was made in February 2021 and the main project was carried out in November. During the spring delivery, the hot oil pipelines were replaced and the oil pumps were renewed.

Larger changes were made during the autumn delivery: the heating plant’s economizer was renewed; a steam generator was added to the plant and the flue gas fan was moved outside the boiler room. Connecting the new pressure equipment to the old system required changes in the flue gas ducts as well.

“At the same time, the plant’s automation and control systems were rebuild. In addition, acoustic cleaners were added to the hot oil system and pneumatic cleaners to the new economizer,” says Kukkonen and continues:

“Soot blowing had long been one of the plant’s challenges, because without a continuous soot blowing system, the boiler had to be run down for a boiler tube cleaning.”

The main design of the contract began in June and material purchases were made at a rapid pace so that the manufacturing of the equipment could begin in early August. The construction phase began in September and the plant went into operation in the first week of October. The completed project was handed over to the customer on November 15th.

The tight schedule and global shortage of materials challenged not only KPA Unicon but also its suppliers and subcontractors, as well as the customer itself, Lunawood.

“A special thanks should be given to them all – they took on the challenge of a tight schedule and we were an extremely good team,” Kukkonen praises.

Exemplary construction site

The modernized Unicon Biograte boiler has a capacity of six megawatts. The energy is mainly used for the Themowood production process: to produce steam and hot oil, hot water is produced alongside.

“For me this was an interesting process and connection – hot water, oil and steam in the same boiler,” says Kukkonen.

According to Kukkonen, KPA Unicon typically reserves 4–6 weeks for this type of a modernization project. Reducing site time to two weeks required good organization and resourcing, seamless collaboration, and site work around the clock.

“It was achieved with precise procurement, in-house manufacturing, and exact installation planning, where each resource was assigned to an exact target. All the equipment came from our own workshop, and all equipment and piping interfaces were carefully designed to reduce installation time.”

“The construction site was managed in an exemplary manner. We were able to operate dynamically, and communication through the entire subcontracting chain was effective and smooth. Well designed is half finished,” says Viitasalo.

Better maintenance reliability with digital tools

Thanks to the modernization, the overall efficiency of the plant improved by about five percent and flue gas temperature was significantly reduced. Also, the heating surfaces of the boiler stay clean better than before due to the new soot blowing system.

“The degree of automation at the plant increased and both functionality and safety improved significantly,” Viitasalo says.

The KPA Unicon’s PlantSys system, which replaced all the plant’s old systems, increased the degree of automation. Now the plant has a new remote control room system (PlantSys Operations) as well as a digital logbook (PlantSys Diary) and a reporting system (PlantSys Reporting). The modern system is supported for years to come.

“Now that reporting and diary information are not only available on the control room computer, operators can access more shared information. This increases the plant’s operational reliability and brings efficiency to its operations,” says Joni Räsänen, Chief Digital Officer, KPA Unicon.

Digital tools have also changed the way operators work.

“We are still learning, but it is already clear that in addition to trends, the gathering and documentation of historical data has improved. Moreover,the diary is modern and clear. We are satisfied with the result in its entirety,” says Viitasalo.

For more information, please contact

KPA Unicon Oy
Esa Kukkonen,, tel:+358500949678
Joni Räsänen,, tel:+358407792458

Lunawood Oy
Jari Viitasalo,, tel:+358505988752