Etteplan involved in developing environmental technology for Valmet

Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. For 50 years Valmet has provided solutions for SOx emission reduction. Today, Valmet is also known for its reliable marine automation and innovative flue gas cleaning solutions. Their target is to make the vessels greener, more efficient and more profitable.


Etteplan was part of a product development project to maximize the performance of Valmet Marine Scrubbers. More specifically, we provided our special competence in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for Valmet’s product development team with the common goal of ensuring that the scrubber’s performance and quality would be maximized. A marine scrubber is located high up in the ship’s chimney where it uses seawater to clean the exhaust gas of the ship. Similar technology is also used in power plants with which Etteplan has previously worked with Valmet.

“A large portion of SOx emissions worldwide originate from maritime vessels. Taking strides to develop sustainable technologies for the shipping industry will help reduce the environmental footprint of maritime vessels. SOx scrubbing presents an attractive way to meet the regulations of the International Maritime Organization and minimize the operational costs of ships. Valmet has developed a scrubber technology with unique features to enable a more sustainable operating environment for the shipping industry”, says Anssi Mäkelä, Senior Manager, Marine Scrubber Systems, Valmet.

A challenging operating environment simulated with CFD

Valmet wanted to develop their Marine Scrubbers to operate more efficiently and reliably. The sea offers a truly challenging operating environment for marine scrubbers, especially with seawater being a major element. Challenges for a Marine Scrubber include corrosion from seawater, temperature changes and movement of the ship. The need to maintain and repair the equipment naturally leads to more costs, especially when the ship has to come to harbor for maintenance. Additionally, suitability of the solution for all size categories and preferably also for both side and bottom inlet solutions was the key.

Developing Valmet’s Marine Scrubbers was a modern product development project. The timeframe was only a year which was enabled by Etteplan’s expertise in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).

With simulations, the functionality of different ideas and designs were tested in a short timeframe, and with relatively low cost and adequate certainty. Simulations allow for continuous virtual experiments where innovative ideas can be quickly tested and then either accepted or rejected. Different ideas could be cultivated from the information collected by Valmet. Ultimately, the method revealed potential risks stemming from the maritime environment,” describes Arttu Kalliovalkama, Director, Service Solutions, Etteplan.

“The co-operation left a positive feeling. Despite the tight time schedules, every roadblock and challenge was overcome,” says Hannu Karema, Senior Specialist, Etteplan. “Active co-operation with weekly meetings allowed us to stay in sync through the entire development project.”

A better product with reliability and scalability

This product development project was part of a larger project to modularize the product with the potential to lower product specific costs. Despite the project being a complicated one, it was executed in a short timeframe and with low costs compared to a traditional development project. Altogether, the simulations helped to recognize risks and priorities in the development project. This led to a lower risk development project and a better understanding of the product for the customer.

“With Etteplan’s help, Valmet Marine Scrubbers will continue to enable customers to meet environmental regulations, minimize operational costs of ships, and most importantly, lead a way for sustainable shipping”, Anssi Mäkelä concludes.

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Arttu Kalliovalkama
Arttu Kalliovalkama
Director, Service Solutions