Important milestones reached in the Tahara project

Dec 14, 2023

Valmet’s delivery of a Valmet CFB Boiler and a flue gas cleaning to the city of Tahara in Japan is progressing well. This is our sixth boiler delivery to Japan with our local partner, JFE Engineering Co, an experienced Japanese engineering, procurement, and construction company with over 100 power plant references. Work at the Tahara site started in January 2023, and a lot has happened since then. 

The first column ceremony in February 

In Japan, when construction works start in a project, it is customary to celebrate the erection of the first column of the boiler structure. In the Tahara project, this ceremony took place on February 1, 2023.

In the ceremony, a Shinto priest blessed the boiler’s first column. Salt and sake were thrown on the column to ensure a successful project without delay or accidents. Project members, JFE senior management, end-user representatives and directors, and workers of the erection companies participated in the ceremony.

A mobile shrine was brought to the site for the ceremony.

Drum lifting ceremony in August

Lifting a drum is a critical milestone in a boiler project since pressure parts erection can’t properly continue if a drum is not in place. The drum is a reservoir of water/steam at the top end of the water tubes. It stores the steam generated in the water tubes and acts as a phase separator for the steam/water mixture. It’s a large piece of equipment: it’s approximately 15 meters long and weighs around 100 tonnes.

In the Tahara project, the drum was manufactured in Germany and transported by sea freight to the site. It was lifted to its place in August, 2023. As traditional in Japan, this milestone was celebrated at the site with a small ceremony where project members throw salt and sake on the drum.

Work continues at the site

There’s still a lot of work to be done before the boiler can be started up. Lifting pressure parts is ongoing at the site, and a boiler hydro test will take place next year. Piping erection has started, followed by electrification and instrumentation (E&I) activities next summer.

“Since this is an EPS (Engineering Procurement Supply) project, our partner JFE is responsible for erection works at the site. We support them by offering advisory services for the duration of the erection and commissioning. Currently, we have four Valmeteers supporting JFE in the construction phase,” says Juuso Tulonen, Project Manager at Valmet.

“In general, everything has gone extremely well. We have a great project team both at the office and at the site. JFE has established the site extremely carefully, and housekeeping is on an excellent level. Safety is the top priority at the site,” concludes Juuso. 

Details of the project

The contract was signed in August 2021, and the plant will start commercial operation during 2025. 

It’s located in the southern part of Honshu, around half an hour from Nagoya and it will be operated by Tahara Biomass Power LLC.

The 112 MWe CFB boiler will be one of the largest biomass-fired boiler plants in Japan. It will enable the customer’s power plant to achieve a stable power supply at high thermal efficiency while significantly reducing CO2 emissions.