Edison, the Italian arm of French state-owned energy company EDF, has opened the upgraded Marghera Levante thermoelectric plant in Italy, which can be run using both hydrogen and natural gas.

The company upgraded its existing 766MW Marghera Levante gas-fired thermoelectric power plant, located near Port Marghera in the Mestre town, near Venice, Italy.

Originally built in 1964, the power plant has seen commissioning of a 110MW steam turbine in 1992, along with a 260MW gas turbine and a 140MW steam turbine in 2001.

The revamp works employed up to 1,000 workers during peak times and 250 suppliers, and took four years to complete, entailing a total investment of around €400m.

Edison said that the upgraded Marghera Levante facility will contribute to Italy’s energy transition, and support the security of the country’s energy system.

In addition, the thermoelectric power plant will help the country achieve its decarbonisation targets set by the National Integrated Plan for Energy and Climate (PNIEC).

Edison CEO Nicola Monti said: “We are proud to be the first, once again, to lead innovation in Italy thanks to a latest-generation plant that is highly strategic for the flexibility and adequacy of the national electricity system.

“Our Group has an investment plan amounting to 10 billion euros between now and 2030 dedicated to the energy transition, half of which is for the growth in renewable energy.

“And the new plant of Marghera is a tangible proof of how different technologies can work towards the common goal of decarbonisation, to ensure the security of energy supply and economic sustainability.”

The revamp of the Marghera Levante power facility involved dismantling TG3 and TG4 gas turbines installed in 1992, heat recovery steam generators GVR3 and GVR4, steam turbine TV1, and steam generator B2.

The TG5 and TV2 generating sets, which supported the continuity of electricity supply to the national grid during construction, were kept as backup in the event of plant maintenance.

Edison installed the 515MW class-H heat recovery steam generator turbines (HRSG) and a 265MW steam turbine (TVB) from Italian power engineering company Ansaldo Energia.

The HRSG can use up to 50% hydrogen mixed with natural gas with a catalytic system for the reduction of nitrogen oxides (SCR) inside.

Being fully operational, the Marghera Levante plant currently employs around 40 people, including the operation and maintenance team and other corporate staff.

It can address the annual needs of about 2,000,000 families, said Edison.

Ansaldo Energia CEO Fabrizio Fabbri said: “It gives us great satisfaction to see our first GT36 ready to support the country’s electricity production.

“This latest-generation turbine is a highly performing machine characterised by unprecedented technological innovation, also in terms of green fuels.

“We do not hide our pride in having collaborated with Edison on such an important project and we hope this is just the first of many opportunities and strategic partnerships to come.”