Pro-active strategy with several winners

Date: 17 August 2018

The prospect of being deprived of the so-called basic grant at the end of 2018 has been the cause of concerns at many district heating stations. Also at the Værum-Ørum CHP plant south of Randers. “Already four years ago the board members began to prepare for this situation”, says the plant’s foreman Morten Bøhm.

A discontinuation of the grant scheme would cost the CHP plant around EUR 130,000 a year; corresponding to a price increase of about EUR 670 per household. Even for one of the cheapest CHP plants in Denmark this is a massive increase. Therefore, the board has been looking for alternative solutions.

Rather have more connected to the net
“We made a catalogue of potential activities. Perhaps we could obtain better cost prices, make various power saving activities and optimise in general – then we might regain EUR 6,700 here and EUR 2,600 there – if we were clever. However, it would not really have any major effect”, Morten Bøhm concludes.

Another suggested solution was far more attractive: We could connect more consumers to the network. This is why we looked to the neighbouring town of Haslund, which had approximately 300 connected households. A couple of years ago, we checked with the Haslund citizens and it seemed they would be interested in cheap district heating from Værum-Ørum. Therefore, the decision was made to install a transmission pipeline to Haslund. We expect the works on this project to be finished over the summer holiday period.

Major savings
Calculations showed that with about 100 new consumers, the lost grants and the investments in the new pipeline would balance. Expressions so far seem to indicate that the figures will be obtained and more – among other things the new site development in Haslund can increase the customer list, says the chairman of the board.

Other new customers are existing households with various kinds of heating sources: natural gas, oil, wood pellets and even electric heating. The installations in many homes are approaching retirement age. Conversion to district heating is offered at an attractive price, and savings per household are expected to range from EUR 870 to EUR 2,000-2,600 per year, depending on the current heating source, etc.

Turnkey solution gives peace of mind
isoplus Piping Systems was awarded the turnkey contract for the connection between Haslund and Værum-Ørum’s network.

“isoplus could offer a turnkey solution, and this offer was appealing to the board. Perhaps we could have saved some amounts here and there by putting all elements to tender – but we are a small heating station so we have to make our tenders ourselves, keep an eye on them and follow up ourselves. We are talking about an investment over more than 30 years that benefits a lot of people, so a small difference in cost means nothing. On the other hand, we know for certain that we only have to approach one contact if something does not work right. We do not have to discuss with different contractors to establish responsibility for a defective part. Knowing that the entire contract was awarded to isoplus gives us peace of mind”, Morten Bøhm concludes, looking forward to opening the valves to welcome the neighbours in Haslund.

Source: isoplus