Stafsjö steaming ahead in the energy sector

In Alabama, there are 24 power plants. One of them is James H. Miller, Jr. Electric Generating Plant outside Birmingham. It’s a real big one that produces over 2800 MW with its four generators. Here plays Stafsjö a central role. With over 300 knife gate valves.

Sustainability is a key word for Alabama Power, Southern Company. Environmental responsibility permeates everything the company does. Working in the energy sector becomes then a challenge, especially if the power plant is fired with coal. Air emissions must be minimized to zero.

“The goal is to reduce fly ash release. It is an important health and safety factor to ensure  good air quality for the plant personnel” says Mason Romans, Stafsjö specialist on Ebro Armaturen USA and adds:

“With Stafsjö products we were able to present a solution that has worked like clockwork since installation. Our customized solution yielded reliability. We have not had any reports of malfunctions since installations began. 

Sustainability for the energy company is not just about managing strict emission requirements, but also to dispose of and to use the fly ash. With proper control of the process you also get a quality suitable for concrete production.

In all production there are residues and wastes. So also here. Fly ash is fine powder found in plant exhaust gases exiting the boiler and it is removed before the gas is discharged to atmosphere. The fly ash is generally collected in electrostatic precipitator hoppers and then fed into a conveying system. The isolating valve under a ash hopper is normally in open position and it have to close on a static column of ash, without using extreme force or any other unsafe practises. 

Handling of fly ash is difficult. It is very fine-grained and harmful. Before the installation of Stafsjö valves, the plant used conventional knife gate valves. Fine ash collecting in cavities of these valves, caused routine malfunctions. 

“The production line was pretty annoyed. They wanted to get a better solution. In Stafsjö’s portfolio we have the HG series which was the perfect solution. Now we have 77 HG valves in place in each unit. A total of four units becomes 308 valves. And both parties are quite satisfied, “says Bill Lollar, Territory Manager on Severe Service Specialist, Inc (Triple S).

“The HG series is an O ported knife gate with a through-going gate designed for static column applications. This valve series has excellent flow characteristic and no area in the bore where the ash can get packed preventing the valve from operating.  Any ash in the valve body is naturally cleared through normal operation.”, says Mason Romans.

Mason Romans also emphasizes that the Stafsjö HG enables operators to open and close the valves easily, without having to resort to some unsafe practices. Through simple maintenance and reliable performance they have achieved a higher level of safety and air quality at an affordable cost for the facility.

“Competition among manufacturers of knife gate valves is razor sharp. We have many domestic manufacturers, a lot from Asia and a few from Europe. But I would say they have started talking about Stafsjö in the US as a reliable quality brand with a flexible product range and the ability to customize solutions, emphasizes Bill Lollar. 

James H. Miller, Jr. Electric Generating Plant is outside of Birmingham, a city of nearly 225,000 inhabitants. Birmingham is a hub for business in the American South with everything from steel and telecoms to the financial sector and a number of universities. There is also the 18-story headquarters of Alabama Power.

“You know, with Stafsjö we have a track record back to 1666”, summarizes Mr. Lollar.

Further information
Please feel free to contact Stafsjö on or on +46 11 39 31 00 for any questions on valve solutions for ash handling.

If you are you interested in the knife gate solutions for ash handling in the USA, please feel free to contact Mason Romans on Ebro Armaturen USA on

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