Dalkia opens France's biggest biomass cogeneration plant
Dalkia is today opening France's most powerful electricity and steam generation plant to be fired by biomass. The plant is located at the Biganos-Facture production plant of papermaker Smurfit Kappa Cellulose du Pin in the Aquitaine region of southwest France.
The plant will improve the Facture site's energy performance, replace the existing heating plant, upgrade electricity generation and reduce operating costs.
Following a 2006 call for tenders launched by France's Regulatory Commission of Energy (CRE) in the aim of increasing the amount of electricity produced from biomass, the French government gave its agreement for Dalkia to build and operate, for 20 years, a plant at the Smurfit production site to generate 69 MW of electricity and heat in the form of 260 metric tons an hour of steam.
The facility's new boiler is 40 meters high and took two years to build. It produces high-pressure steam held in two turbo alternators that generate electricity which is sold to power company EDF. The low-pressure steam produced at the end of the process is used on site by Smurfit, in particular to dry paper, thus optimizing the energy performance of the facility as a whole.
The boiler has to be fed with an annual 503,000 metric tons of biomass. Tree bark and fines from the pulp-screening process, which are already used in the existing boiler, account for 219,000 metric tons. Supply is completed by 200,000 metric tons of branches and tree stumps provided by Smurfit Kappa Comptoir du Pin, and by 84,000 metric tons of recovered wood from Dalkia's biomass supply chain.
"This facility, which is of a rare size, has enabled us to put in place a regional supply chain for wood energy and to create 94 direct jobs: 24 jobs at the plant itself and 70 in the supply chain."
Dalkia has built a solid partnership with Smurfit Kappa Cellulose du Pin and become the French leader in electricity generation from biomass.
"This partnership with Smurfit Kappa is a new opportunity for Veolia Environnement to demonstrate its expertise in the area. Working to reduce greenhouse gases by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources is an excellent example. In our activities, it is vital to make the best possible use of local primary energy resources."
Overall, the new facility will reduce carbon emissions by 200,000 metric tons a year.