To reduce Bulgaria’s heavy dependence on imported energy, a landmark biomass-to-energy plant powered by General Energy's (GE) Jenbacher gas engine technology is being built near Stroevo, in Plovdiv province.
The 5 MW Karlovo plant will use three of GE’s fuel-flexible Jenbacher engines — one J612 and two J620 units — powered by syngas derived from straw and wood chips and will produce enough electric power for 2,000 homes.
Scheduled for completion by the end of 2014, the plant is being built by EQTEC Iberia, part of Spanish holding company Ebioss Energy AD. It is the latest development in Ebioss’ strategy to apply its Integrated Biomass Gasification Cogeneration Power Plant (IBGPP) technology throughout Europe to help countries reduce their dependence on foreign energy supplies and to increase the proportion of energy from renewable sources.
The country’s target is for 16 percent of its energy demand to be met by domestic renewable sources by 2020, but at present more than 70 percent of its energy is from imported natural gas and oil.
Syngas is a continually renewable fuel that enables power to be produced economically on-site at the point of use, reducing losses inherent in electrical transmission. It also helps to solve a waste-disposal problem by converting organic wastes into fuel. With the EQTEC Gasifier Technology, steam and hot water can be generated with no reduction in output power, so overall plant efficiency will be much higher when the plant is used for district heating or other cogeneration applications in addition to power production.