Metso on the Move

Metso has reported another successful year in 2010: orders were up 36% on 2009 at nearly €6 billion, or $8 billion. These were split evenly between Europe, North and South America and Asia/Africa/Middle East. Return on capital was around 13.5% last year. Metso president and CEO Jorma Eloranta said, "I am especially pleased with our services business which grew strongly and represented 45% of our business. Likewise we saw the benefits of our strong presence in emerging markets with half of our net sales coming from those growth areas. We estimate that Metso's net sales in 2011 will grow over 10% compared to 2010."

Eloranta retired on March 1 and was replaced by Matti Kähkönen, previously president of the Metso mining and construction technology segment. Kähkönen becomes the new president and chief executive officer of Metso Corporation and Metso Group.

Metso is based in Finland: mining and construction markets supply the major part of Metso business, at 41%, and as you might expect, paper and fiber technology is 33% of the business. But a healthy 25% comes from energy and environmental technology. Metso is an expert supplier of biomass and wood by-product power generation plants and technology. But then possibly the product name Neles with ValvGuard intelligent valve controllers will be more familiar to some people: Metso iESD valves and actuators with Neles ValvGuard intelligent valve controllers are said to improve plant safety in a cost-efficient way. These products are supplied by the automation systems division, which also specializes in turbine control systems.

Vantaan Energia is one of Finland's largest urban energy companies, owned by the cities of Vantaa and Helsinki. The Martinlaakso CHP power plant produces about 66% of Vantaa Energia's electricity output and most of its district heat. The total electrical capacity of the plant is about 195 MW and thermal capacity is 330 MW. Vantaan Energia and Metso have cooperated since the 1980s, and now Vantaan has ordered a turbine control system for the Lang steam turbine of the Martinlaakso power plant. Maintenance engineer Timo Linna of Vantaan Energia commented, "Our experience with the turbine controller at the Martinlaakso block 1 and the automation renewals at the power boiler plant 2 create a solid ground for continuing cooperation. Our decision was also influenced by the new Metso turbine protection and condition monitoring as well as the competitive price level." The turbine controller will be integrated with the existing Metso DNA automation system.

One of the biggest biomass CHP plants in Central Europe, delivered to Dalkia in October 2010 by Metso, is running successfully in Facture, southwest France. Using mainly bark and forest residues as fuel, the plant produces 50MW of electricity and 74MW of process steam for Smurfit Kappa's paper mill. Metso is also to convert the Dalkia Łódź plant in Poland from using a pulverized coal boiler to biomass fuel. Metso R&D has focused on technologies with which power producers can minimize the consumption of energy and raw materials as well as emissions, to optimize combustion processes and improve energy efficiency. Metso will supply an energy automation system to the new 50 MW biomass CHP plant being built by RWE npower renewables in Markinch, Fife, Scotland, and has other orders from England, Portugal and Ireland. New Metso gasification technology will be demonstrated at GoBiGas (the Gothenburg Biomass Gasification Project), which is mainly owned by Göteborg Energi: this will produce biogas by gasification of biofuels and waste from forestry.

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