Fortum Suomenoja CHP plant in Espoo
Fortum Suomenoja CHP plant in Espoo

Accurate control improves heat delivery efficiency by decreasing heat losses in the network, and it also enables a plant to maintain optimal operation conditions during fast changes in electricity and heat consumption.

Fortum’s Suomenoja CHP plant in Espoo is the first power plant in Finland to optimize the dynamics of its district heating network using multivariable model predictive control. This development work builds on the optimization work carried out at the Fortum Suomenoja plant during 2012. Commissioning of the new control is planned for 2014.

The district heating network in the Espoo, Kauniainen and Kirkkonummi areas is a large and complex network, consisting of the production of district heat and cooling, a delivery network, pumping stations and thousands of end users. Until now, optimal operating conditions in the district heating network have been maintained manually, and operators have had to run the network with more heat than necessary.

“The improvements reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, making CHP production an even more environmentally friendly form of heating,” says Timo Aaltonen, Production Director, Fortum Heat and Power Oy.

“The new advanced optimization solution will provide district heat producers with both economic and environmental benefits through better network control,” says Sami Pitkänen, Vice President, EMEA Services, Automation, Metso.

Located in Espoo, the Suomenoja power plant produces heat for the inhabitants of Espoo, Kauniainen, and Kirkkonummi, and electricity for the national grid. The power plant produces approximately 1,800 gigawatt-hours of electricity and 2,200 gigawatt-hours of district heat per year.

Based on successful steam network optimization

The new district heating network optimization solution is a continuation of Metso’s pioneering work on steam network optimization, which has proven to be a success around the world at CHP plants. Core to both solutions are Metso’s optimization experts who design, implement and configure the optimization solution based on each customer’s requirements, steam network and systems.

The solution is built on multivariable model predictive control, which is capable of simultaneously controlling several network variables, predicting primary variables and handling control constraints. At the Suomenoja plant, the optimization package will be integrated into the existing Metso DNA automation system, but it can be integrated into any automation system used at a power plant.


Fortum’s operations focus on the Nordic countries, Russia, Poland and the Baltics. In the future, the integrating European and fast-growing Asian energy markets provide additional growth opportunities. In 2012, Fortum’s sales totaled EUR 6.2 billion and comparable operating profit was EUR 1.7 billion. It employs approximately 10,400 people.

The Automation segment’s process automation and flow control solutions meet the growing needs of Metso’s customer industries to improve production process efficiency as raw materials and energy sources become scarcer and their costs,

Metso is a global supplier of technology and services to customers in the process industries, including mining, construction, pulp and paper, power, and oil and gas. Our 30,000 professionals based in over 50 countries deliver sustainability and profitability to customers worldwide. Expect results.