The first straw based CHP plant in Hungary was launched in the winter in Pécs, Hungary at a big power plant owned by Pannonpower a subsidiary to Dalkia
Combined with a previously installed woodchip-fired block, the new unit allows the city of Pécs to switch completely to green heating, making it the first city in Hungary with a district heating system entirely fueled by biomass-based renewable energy.
According to the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority’s data nearly one-fifth of Hungary’s renewable electricity production will be generated by Pannonpower’s two biomass-fired power plant units. The earlier wood based plant and the new strawbased unit. The plant will play a key role in green electricity production in Hungary. According to estimates, the power plant in Pécs will account for 6pc of Hungary’s renewable energy use by 2020, significantly contributing to Hungary’s ability to fulfill its promises outlined in its Renewable Energy Action Plan.
Inaugurated in November
Dalkia Energia inaugurated in November a new biomass unit in the Southwest Hungarian city of Pécs in the presence of Lászlóné Németh, Minister for National Development of Hungary. Thanks to the investment Pécs will become Eastern Europe’s biggest “green cogeneration district heating network using biomass as fuel.
The €80.8m project, which has 70MW heat generating capacity and 35MW power capacity, uses agricultural side products available in the region that include 240,000 tons of mostly straw per year being purchased, generating additional income of €13.5m from fuel sales for farmers.
Selling fuel to the power plant generates additional income of 4 billion Hungarian forints for farmers in Southwestern Hungary, while collecting and delivering the agricultural side products creates 170 new jobs. The new biomass unit decreases the natural gas imports of Hungary by 80 million cubic meters a year, and saves 150 thousand tons of CO2 getting into the atmosphere.
With a heat generating capacity of more than 70 MW, the new straw-burning biomass unit provides 60 percent of the heat demand for the district heating system of 31 thousand flats and 450 institutions in the Southwest Hungarian city of Pécs. Combined with a previously installed woodchip-fired block, the new unit allows the city to switch completely to green heating, making Pécs the first city in Hungary with a district heating system entirely fueled by biomass-based renewable energy. The new unit also generates electricity with a total capacity of 35 MW.
“The new unit officially launched today shows that Dalkia is dedicated to Hungary. Our company, which employs 630 people on 250 premises across the country, has invested HUF 65 billion to the Hungarian energy system. ”– emphasized Franck Lacroix, CEO of Dalkia Group.
“Dalkia Energia has over 20 years of operational experience in Hungary, and it has long-term plans in the country. A significant part of our service contracts, such as Pécs, or a concession we recently won in Tata, span into the mid 2020s”– emphasized Franck Lacroix.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Lászlóné Németh, Minister for National Development, emphasized that Dalkia Energia’s new straw-fueled unit is in line with the government’s goals outlined in its National Energy Strategy and in the National Action Plan for the Use of Renewable Energy.
“The power supply of Pécs will be based on solely on renewable fuel, which saves 80 million cubic meters of natural gas for the whole country. Thanks to this investment, we managed to reduce the energy dependence of Pécs and Hungary. In the future the use of biomass means transparent costs, freedom from international price movements and the utilization of local resources”– said Lászlóné Németh.
Highlighting the local economic impact of the investment, the minister pointed out that additional revenues and new jobs will be created in the region. “Hungary largest boiler heated with agricultural side products will increase the revenues of farmers in Southwest Hungary by 4 billion Hungarian forints a year. The tasks associated with the fuel, which until now was treated as side-products, will create working opportunities for many people from collection to transport. So altogether the operation of the power plant will contribute to 170 jobs in the region. The new power plant is an important tool of fulfilling our renewable energy and climate protection commitments, while it helps reduce Hungary’s international energy dependence, as well” – she added.
“This is the biggest power plant investment in Hungary completed in the past few years. It clearly proves that using biomass in district heating is a profitable and advantageous opportunity for all stakeholders involved. The biomass technology may be used by smaller district heating systems starting from 1,000 residential customers, as well. The direction we started by the use of the local biomass in Pécs can lead towards a sustainable and affordable district heating sector in Hungary”– Renaud Capris, CEO of the Hungarian unit of Dalkia, said.