Round-up of key developments in biomass and waste to energy in the fourth quarter of 2013.


Visulalisation of Krakow energy-from-waste plant

November 2013 saw the start of civil works on a new energy-from-waste CHP plant for Krakow (see artist’s impression, above), with commencement of piling. Commercial handover of the plant, Krakow ZTPO, the largest energy-from-waste facility under construction in Poland, is targeted for the end of 2015. The project can be seen in the context of Poland’s efforts to meet EU waste directives.

Doosan Lentjes is the grate/boiler package supplier, deploying its proven air-cooled reciprocating grate technology.

As a subcontractor to general contractor POSCO Engineering & Construction of South Korea, Doosan Lentjes will deliver a complete boiler system to the new Krakow facility, which will consist of two lines each capable of processing up to 110,000 tons of municipal solid waste per year.

The project represents a 156 million euro investment by the Municipality of Krakow, which has received EU support via the Cohesion Fund and a loan from the Polish National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.

A call for tenders was issued in 2011. The main contract was awarded in October 2012, permit engineering took place between November 2012 and April 2013. The permit was granted in July 2013 and site activities started.

A grate system was selected because it was seen as the most reliable and well established technology for energy from waste.

The Doosan Lentjes scope of supply included: permit engineering support; basic and detailed engineering; and supply of waste reception hopper and feeder; counter reciprocating grates (air cooled); ash extractors; steam generators (3 empty passes, horizontal pass, vertical economiser); refractories and cladding (incl. site installation); SNCR (based on urea) excl. storage tank; motors and frequency converters; instrumentation and control systems; steel supporting structures and walkways.

Similar Doosan Lentjes technologies have been installed in several energy-from-waste facilities worldwide, most recently in plants in Frankfurt, Germany and Harlingen, Netherlands. The latter has recently applied for a permit to increase throughput from 230 000 t/d to 280 000 t/d, suggesting the plant is running well with good design margin.

Drax unit 2 conversion completed

9 December saw the official inauguration of new wood pellet reception, storage and distribution facilities at the Drax power station in the UK, marking completion of the project to fully convert unit 2 of the 6 x 660 MW coal-fired plant to biomass. This first unit has been running on biomass since the beginning of April, conversion of unit 3 is planned for next year and unit 1 in 2016.

The conversions of unit 3 and unit 1 are included in the recently announced list of renewable energy projects that remain in the running for support under the UK government’s "Final Investment Decision Enabling for Renewables" scheme. This is essentially an interim mechanism to allow qualifying projects to make go/no go investment decisions prior to establishment of UK’s new contracts for difference regime for low-carbon energy sources, which will be introduced as part of the Electricity Market Reform recently enacted by parliament.

The list also includes biomass conversion at Lynemouth and MGT Power’s Teesside dedicated biomass new build CHP project. Not on the final list were the Eggborough 1, 2 and 3 conversions, previously listed.

Another piece of positive news for Drax is that the White Rose oxyfuel CCS project it is developing with Alstom, BOC (Linde) and National Grid Carbon is to receive FEED study funding under the UK government’s CCS commercialisation scheme.

Bubbling fluidised bed for Croatia

Metso’s pulp, paper and power business (becoming Valmet as from 14 January 2014), is to supply Uni Viridas with a bubbling fluidised bed based biomass fired CHP plant, 9.7 MWe, 10 MWt, for the city of Babina Creda in Croatia. Uni Viridas is a special purpose entity of Unit Investment NV, established for this specific project. The plant is scheduled to be in operation in 2015.
The turnkey delivery will include boiler island, turbine and buildings as well as installation and construction works. The boiler can utilise a wide range of fuels such as forest residues with high combustion efficiency and low NOx and CO2 emissions. The electricity will be distributed to the local grid and the heat used in a wood pellet factory, local greenhouses and other industrial facilities.
The plant control system will use DNA technology supplied by the Metso automation business which will remain Metso after the 14 January demerger.

Coconut-to-energy plant for Thailand

DP Cleantech has signed a contract to deliver a new turnkey biomass plant to the Mahachai Green Power project in Samut Sakhon Province, Thailand. The 9.5 MWe high pressure, high temperature plant will be delivered on an EPC basis and will run on coconut waste residues (husk, shell, frond and leaves). The new design has been adapted specially for coconut waste and DP Cleantech says it is able to guarantee long-term stable performance, operating at full capacity for more than 7900 hours per year.
The project is expected to be grid-connected within 18 months of the kickoff date. The power generated will be fed into the public grid and will benefit from Thailand’s generous biomass feed-in-tariffs. Remaining ash will be used as fertiliser or filler material for construction.

Geared reaction steam turbine for Northern Ireland

Alstom has signed a contract with Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (BWSC) to design and supply an 18 MW geared reaction steam turbine (GRT) for installation in a 15.8 MWe biomass power station being built by BWSC in Northern Ireland. The wood-fuelled plant, to be built on a 10 acre site in Lisahally, is the first of its kind to be built in Ireland.

The plant, which was part-funded by the UK government’s Green Investment Bank, and Danish EKF (Export Credit Agency), is expected to become operational in 2015. The GRT utilises the latest Alstom technologies in blade design to maximise performance and is pre-assembled in the factory before shipment, minimising installation and commissioning times.

Landfill limitations drive waste-to-energy

A growing volume of municipal solid waste, an increasing need to generate energy and stricter legislation are together driving the waste-to-energy plant market globally, says Frost & Sullivan, which projects revenues to rise from $19 billion at the end of 2012 to $ 29 billion by 2016.

The global waste to energy market is discussed in a presentation by Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Monika Chrusciak, which is now available online.

Currently, the interest in installation of new waste-to-energy is strongest in regions with the highest population density and limited space, such as Western Europe, the Middle East and South Asia. At the same time, regions with developed economies and an existing installed base of waste-to-energy plants are expected to create vast modernisation opportunities by 2016.

Landfilling of waste is no longer economically sound. Gate fees have risen considerably, leading market participants to explore competitive solutions, notes Ms Chrusciak.