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Metropolitan Copenhagen Heating Transmission Company

CTR is a company with a mission. They are responsible for providing reliable, cheap heating to over 275,000 households across five municipalities in the Greater Copenhagen Area. “We buy hot water from the big incineration plants and power plants in the Greater Copenhagen Area and transmit the water through a series of high pressure pipelines to various heating companies owned by the municipalities,” explains Inga Thorup Madsen, President and CEO of CTR. “We don’t have any contact with the end user, instead we act more as a go-between.” CTR, or the Metropolitan Copenhagen Heating Transmission Company, to give it its full name, was founded in 1984 from the municipalities of Frederiksberg, Gentofte, Gladsaxe, Copenhagen and Tårnby. Since then they’ve done an excellent job of mediating between the power companies and the heating providers. But CTR is so much more than a middle man between the heating companies and the power companies. The systems they put in place ensure that

customers are always getting the best value for their heat. “On the one hand we buy heat from plants where there is a surplus then our systems ensure that the cheapest plant available will take care of our customer’s heat needs. If the customers need more we move onto more expensive plants,” Madsen explains. “We also work together with heat producers and the other transmission companies so that we are able to forecast the price and capacity of heat in the future. It’s very energy effective to have this system in place, compared to a system where only one producer has to supply a whole area.” It’s a vast, intricate system, which isn’t surprising when you consider that CTR has invested in the region of 3 billion DKK into the heat transmission network. It has been responsible for the construction, development and operation of a 54km network, including three booster pump stations, 14 peakload units and 26 heat-exchanger stations, all managed from CTR’s control room through its extended control, regulation and monitoring system.

The engineering teams behind Ramboll’s services to CTR are very experienced and part of Ramboll’s 450 staff strong energy consultancy group. Since CTR was established in 1984, Ramboll’s assistance has covered all aspects of planning and design as well as close support during construction and commissioning. Current assignments are related to CTR’s constant expansion and optimisation together with operation & maintenance consultancy services.

District heating at its best For more than 25 years Ramboll has been CTR’s main consultant, assisting the company during all stages of the project life cycle from planning and design to operation and maintenance of Copenhagen’s city-wide heat transmission system. When working with our international clients we use Copenhagen as inspiration and a model for other district heating projects.


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Metropolitan Copenhagen Heating Transmission Company

This district heating system has numerous advantages over other heating systems. It manages to be both cheap and eco-friendly by making sure that the surplus heat generated by power plants is used in the most effective way possible. The interconnected nature of the grid makes it possible for that heat to be taken from any of the big power plants or incinerators across the region and redirected to where it’s needed. The Most Valuable Resource Of course, the most valuable resource CTR has, perhaps even more valuable than the heat it’s distributing across the Greater Copenhagen area, is its people. In a fast moving, high technology field like this, it’s absolutely crucial to have the best people, and to keep those people trained up. For Madsen, the key to building great staff is clear. “We educate our staff and try to create good conditions for them,” she says. “We’re particularly proud of our great working atmosphere. Because we’ve built a reputation for treating our staff well we’re in a better position to recruit new people, because they are attracted to our working conditions and the opportunities we offer to develop their careers.” It’s an aspect of the business that CTR is constantly developing. There is a program in place whereby employees are given an annual interview to discuss their needs and set goals for the coming year. There are also bi-weekly symposiums to give employees an open forum to share knowledge and discuss how work should be completed, so that staff feel a real sense of ownership over the companies achievements.

SPX Flow Technology is a leading supplier of plate heat exchangers for district heating. For more than twenty-five years SPX has worked closely with customers such as CTR to develop customized, flexible and highly efficient plate heat exchangers for their district heating stations. The close relationships SPX has formed with Danish Board of District Heating and CTR in product development and field testing has helped to make SPX PHE products the highly durable, highly reliable solutions they are today. Optimisation of gasket shape, gasket material and plate stability means exceptionally low service and maintenance costs across the product range. SPX PHE solutions cover an extensive range of district heating and HVAC applications with pipework diameters from 25 to 500mm, covering installations from small residential to large power plants.

Powerful Partnerships As well as utilising its own workforce, CTR has also built crucial partnerships with other companies, working together towards some truly ambitious goals. By working closely with its partner companies, CTR is aiming to have a completely carbon neutral heating system for their area by 2025. It’s aiming to do this by focusing on biomass and geothermal based heat. CTR has taken several important steps towards this goal, for instance, in its part ownership of a geothermal plant opened in 2006. This plant stands as one of CTR’s lasting achievement. It’s impossible not to be impressed by the demonstration geothermal plant CTR helped reach construction. The plant is built around a 3 kilometre hole into the ground, where water up to 70 degrees Celsius is found. CTR is looking to get involved in further geothermal projects, and is together with the partners investigating the possibility of building a larger plant with 7 dwellings in a star formation. But this is only one string to CTR’s bow. They are currently looking how to help the municipalities in their strategies for energy supply in the future. Some of them are expanding their heating network and items are whether district heating systems should be further connected, and how the planning climate and energy can be coordinated between companies and municipalities. “We are working together with the heating deliverers, trying to meet efficiency goals through a variety of techniques. A crucial part of that is the way we run the whole system so that at any hour of the day we are using the most effective heat production at that time,” Madsen says. “We are also constantly working with our heat production suppliers, negotiating ways to meet any deficiencies in the system.


From small residential to large power plant installations, SPX plate heat exchanger solutions cover a wide range of HVAC applications including water, solar and district heating. Customers continue to benefit from our high quality technologies which provide superior heat transfer efficiencies. Email us at or call +45 70 278 444 to learn more about our compact, easy to clean, glue-free gasket plate heat exchanger designs.

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Metropolitan Copenhagen Heating Transmission Company


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We’re able to work this way because we are a publically owned company in a non-liberalised sector - our aim isn’t to create a surplus, and we’re motivated by concerns other than profit. This means that at every moment we are trying to find the best heat production that can be arranged at that moment.” Because the company is run this way, in many ways their goals are set far higher than other companies. “We are asked to aim for very ambitious goals by our municipalities,” Madsen says. “This prompts us to try to develop new systems with new technology. If we want to be carbon neutral by 2025 we need to introduce new technology to the system.” Among the changes the company shall meet the need for new capacity in the future. “We are not a production company so we have to ask ourselves a number of questions about where we should get that extra capacity,” Madsen says. “This means negotiating new deals with energy providers and analysing what we can draw from new plants in the Copenhagen area, as well as the sorts of fuel and technology we should be investing in.” Right now their main priority is to limit the consumption of fossil fuels, and CTR is proud to say that here Copenhagen is miles ahead of similar capitals, also thanks to 27 years of good service from CTR’s district heating system. It’s a system that has proved to be sustainable and effective for densely populated areas, minimising heat loss while using fuels in the most efficient way possible. It’s a model that cities all over the world could stand to learn from.

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Metropolitan Copenhagen Heating Transmission Company +45 38185777 Written by William Dodd

CTR Corporate Brochure  

Metropolitan Copenhagen Heating Transmissions Company (CTR) Written by William Dodd