E.on coal power plant in Gardanne – Meyreuil, France now partly rebuilt for biomass.
E.on coal power plant in Gardanne – Meyreuil, France now partly rebuilt for biomass.

Doosan and France’s ADF pool strengths on biomass project

Doosan Power Systems and French industrial maintenance specialist Groupe ADF have officially entered an 18-month partnership following the recent award of the major biomass conversion and turbine upgrade project at E.ON’s coal-fired power plant in France.

Doosan Power Systems was awarded the biomass conversion and turbine upgrade project for E.ON’s coal-fired Provence power plant in Gardanne – Meyreuil (13), France in May. 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.

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. It will provide 150 MW 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.

This investment will reduce 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.

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 fluidized 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.

Under a recently signed contract agreement, Doosan will provide the technology and project leadership while ADF, as principal subcontractor to Doosan, will be responsible for the assembly of all new equipment at the site.

The partnership follows more than 12 months’ successful collaboration during the Gardanne FEED (Front End Engineering & Design) study and bid preparation phases, and will provide a valuable boost to the local economy through the creation of employment opportunities.

ADF is a specialist in the maintenance of power generation sites across France and Benelux.

Conversion works began this summer with scheduled first firing in autumn 2014 and start-up operations commencing early 2015. To meet this schedule, the project will employ an average of 200 people over 18 months.

Doosan and ADF cemented their strong working relationships during the FEED study and bid preparations for Gardanne, where their complementary set of skills were boosted by a common approach to environmental and safety standards, as well as a shared commitment to customer satisfaction.

Jinwon Mok, CEO, Doosan Power Systems said: “This major contract win for E.ON’s Provence project is further confirmation of Doosan’s capability to undertake major plant conversion and construction projects, drawing on technical expertise and project management skills across our turbine, boiler and after-build service businesses.

It is also a valuable reference for Doosan in the biomass sector, following on from our 2012 contract wins for the conversion of the Ironbridge power plant in the UK and the Atikokan Generation Station in Ontario, Canada.

”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. This will contribute to the creation of indirect local employment by upstream structuring and development of the regional “wood-energy” industry. Within ten years after the commissioning of the new unit, all the biomass will be sourced locally.