Track Record Energy Efficiency Solutions
Track-record Energy Efficiency Solutions after almost one decade ‘in business’
Interview with Mr. Herman Klein Teeselink, Managing Director of HoSt B.V. – The Netherlands.
About seven years ago Stork Thermeq started its specialized activities for biomass conversion, waste-to-energy, waste-to-product, biofuels and waste heat recovery. For customers in several sectors of renewables as well as fossil fired installations Stork developed future oriented boiler and burner technology. An example is HoSt, also located in the eastern part of the Netherlands. About ten years ago HoSt was awarded with its first biomass-CHP project, based on a compact boiler design, made by HoSt and Stork together.
HoSt and Stork Thermeq cooperated in several projects for biomass conversion. Managing Director Herman Klein Teeselink of HoSt has his roots within the Stork-organization. HoSt was founded by Holec and Stork in 1991 as in independent company. Key activities are design, engineering, construction, service 24/7 and maintenance of biomass fired energy installations as well as biogas technology. Mr. Herman Klein Teeselink explains his policy.
Your website is very export oriented; it provides content in seven languages. Export seems to be very important for HoSt. Could you please explain your export strategy?
The world-wide focus is a fossil free and energy neutral society by 2050. Biomass will play an important role in this transition. HoSt is focussing on biomass conversion based on relatively small (1-7 MWe) CHP-systems. And as you may know, governments often change their energy strategy and peripheral funding policy for renewables including biomass. So lowering risks is a main reason for us to act as a global player in biomass-CHP. Due to many relative small biomass power plants, the repeat effect reduces the cost enormously.
What’s the position of biomass in the energy-mix?
Energy strategies are affected by politicians. That makes it really complex – especially on an international level. With the actual low oil prices you will understand that our ‘level playing field’ isn’t easy. Conflicting interests of oil producers and renewable energy suppliers (like HoSt) are influencing decision makers day-by-day.
Within the renewables sector, biomass is a reliable energy source. Biomass – as waste product – is world-wide available on a high variety of locations. And the pricing of the biomass are really competitive: about 50% of natural gas based on energy content. And for straw this factor is even approximately 40%. And moreover, many biomass (waste) streams are available all over the world.
And what about investments in biomass-CHP?
Decisions on investments are generally taken on a higher level. By amortizing installations over ten years biomass conversion is a competitive solution. Our challenge is increasing our sales volume by cost reduction due to standardization/repeat effects. This will make biomass-CHP commercially more attractive (per MWe) for our customers. The final goal is to make electricity for 0,05 €/kWh when the waste biomass is for free.
Why are you focussing on smaller biomass-CHP systems?
With small sized installations – e.g. in Northern-Europe – waste heat recovery is always an important issue for our customers. Heat is more than 50% of the revenues; in the future this will increase to 75%.
Another reason is prefabrication of components. The size of components should preferably by limited for logistics by road transport. Prefabrication allows us to reduce lead times (‘building quicker’) and to cut costs. Moreover it stimulates ‘repeat-business’.
Are there any regulations or legislation in Europe or worldwide forcing biomass as ‘the future oriented fuel type for power generation’?
Stimulating renewable energy production is part of the energy legislation in almost any (European) country. But – as mentioned earlier – we are facing many variations in national regulations and energy sources involved. E.g. for biogas. This fact – lowering risks – has really encouraged our export policy.
By using domestic biomass and reducing the fossil fuel import, countries will increase their wealth in the future and make them less dependent on political policies.
What are the leading developments in biomass conversion?
Biomass waste streams get more complex. Customers want to use the cheapest available biomass. And it’s composition is influenced by pollution. Therefore we have developed grates for combustion of straw and other low grade biomass waste streams. The boiler design – including furnace – should be adapted for future oriented biomass combustion.
How will these trends influence your business-activities?
HoSt is growing rapidly, so colleagues are fully equipped with on-going projects. On the other hand, innovation will determine our future market position. Recruitment of professionals in processing (mechanical, chemical, electrical, IT, etc.) is a main issue – not only for R&D. We are looking for experienced engineers as well as graduates.
You are planning new office facilities for HoSt in Enschede. Which departments in your company are expanding their business-activities?
Our growth refers to all departments, so we expand in a broad sense. We expect especially business-growth in biogas solutions.
Outsourcing of manufacturing of key-components is part of your company policy. How important are local suppliers – like Stork Thermeq – for your company?
It’s a real strategic issue for my company to be not involved in manufacturing activities. We prefer to cooperate with local suppliers and strive long lasting relationships. But we keep them sharp: subcontractors should be our sparring partners in order to work and to produce in a more effective way. And as a service provider, these companies should guarantee a maximum availability for our customers.
What do you appreciate in the Stork Thermeq approach concerning products and services for biomass conversion and/or combustion?
Stork Thermeq’s expertise is important in developing our initial biomass-CHP installations. The actual boiler design is a direct result of our cooperation.
And the Stork Thermeq service department for boiler equipment assists our customers on a 24/7 basis.
We do have a common interest: boiler(re)design should focus on standardization of boiler components. Technical challenges (e.g. complex corrosion mechanisms) and input factors like varying biomass waste streams are the basic drivers.
Because meeting the future oriented customer requirements in biomass-CHP should extend our competitive edge!