Wärtsilä is to supply a 75MWe liquid biofuel power plant to the Italian city of Acerra, near Naples.
The EUR 60 million turnkey contract was awarded by Fri-El Acerra Srl, an independent power producer formed through a joint venture between Italy’s Fri-El SpA and Energies Nouvelles of France.
The engineering, procurement and construction contract includes not only the supply of four Wärtsilä 18V46 genset with combined cycle in order to maximise electricity production, but everything else from the supply of a fuel unloading area to grid connection systems. An Operation and Maintenance agreement is also under negotiation.
When installed, the plant will replace two gas turbines and run on palm oil that, in part, will be cultivated from plantations owned by Fri-El. It is expected to be on line and supplying power to the grid in October 2007.
Fri-El, a specialist in power generation from renewable energy sources, is expected to benefit from the “Green Certificate” incentives introduced by the Italian Government to meet the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. The plant will emit practically zero CO2 emissions, keeping the plant in line with Italy’s target for reducing greenhouse gas emission.
Each power generation plant based on non-renewable energy is currently obliged to produce 2.35% of annual electricity production using renewable sources. If they fail to comply, they must buy green certificates for each 50 megawatt hour included in that calculated 2.35% of annual output.
However, power companies, such as Fri-El, that produce energy from renewables will be awarded Green Certificates at the same rate and will be able to sell these Green Certificates to other power plants. In this way the owners of low greenhouse emission power plants benefit twice from their investment; firstly from selling their electricity to the national grids, and secondly from trading their green certificates.
“The Fri-El plant is a major milestone for us within the renewables market as it shows that we have built a reputation in the market for our applications and solutions,” said Marco Golinelli, Wärtsilä’s Vice President, Power Plants in Italy.
In order to minimise the lifecycle impact on greenhouse gas emissions, Wärtsilä liquid biofuel power plants are designed to run on straight vegetable oil, without using any supplementary energy for fuel refinement.
“Energy from liquid biofuels offers important advantages,” says Mr Golinelli. “Biofuels enable the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat with no sulphur emissions and no consumption of fossil fuel resources. As the biofuels are classed as renewable, no additional CO2 is emitted and they thus contribute to reducing the greenhouse effect.”
“It is one of the best ways of ensuring the economic viability of ‘green’ energy projects in Italy. Also, because of the high overall power plant performance that can be reached using medium-speed reciprocating engines, it’s increasingly becoming an attractive alternative to electricity generation,” Golinelli says.
Today, Wärtsilä has 25 MW of liquid biofuel plants in operation in Italy. Including the Fri-El plant, there are 230 MW more under construction or on order.
Wärtsilä in brief:
Wärtsilä enhances the business of its customers by providing them with complete lifecycle power solutions. When creating better and environmentally compatible technologies, Wärtsilä focuses on the marine and energy markets with products and solutions as well as services. Through innovative products and services, Wärtsilä sets out to be the most valued business partner of all its customers. This is achieved by the dedication of more than 12.000 professionals manning 130 Wärtsilä offices in over 60 countries around the world.
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