The project will help to create France’s largest biomass-fired power plant to date as part of the E.ON Group’s “cleaner, higher performance energy” strategy, said Doosan.
The new biomass unit, generating electricity from the combustion of wood - including forest chips, green residues and recovered wood - will be converted from the existing coal-fired Provence 4 unit, said the company.
Doosan hopes it will provide 150MW of power with base production of more than 7500 hours per year until 2034, which corresponds to the annual electrical consumption (except for heating) of 440,000 households, reducing the CO2 balance by 600,000 tons per year.
It will also extend the life of the Provence power plant for a further 20 years while helping structure and develop the region’s wood-energy industry. Work will begin this summer with the first firing in the autumn of 2014 and startup of operations in early 2015, said the company.
Doosan Power Systems will be responsible for converting the existing Provence facility to biomass, in particular by converting the 20-year-old coal-fired CFB (circulating fluidised bed) boiler and renovating the steam turbine.
The project will be led by the Germany-based CFB specialist, Doosan Lentjes who supplied the original CFB technology and key components for the plant in 1992. At the same time, the company’s turbine specialist, Doosan Škoda Power, will replace the inner steam path of the existing steam turbine to match the new output and enhance plant efficiency. Life-time extension works will be undertaken by Doosan Babcock on the remaining equipment so that the plant is well placed to deliver reliable performance for a further 20 years, said Doosan.
The assembly of the new equipment will be subcontracted locally to ADF, a French group located in the Fos-Berre basin that specialises in the maintenance of power generation sites. The project will have a significant economic impact on the region, said the company, employing an average of 200 people over 18 months, and up to 350 in peak periods, a large number with local industrial players like ADF.
Biomass plants produce electricity through the combustion of various organic materials (green wastes, chips, recovered wood). The new Provence 4 biomass unit will consume some 850,000 tonnes of biomass per year. Doosan said it plans that within ten years after the commissioning of the new unit, all the biomass will be sourced locally.