Biomass, Cogeneration CHP, On Site Renewables

World’s first CHP plant using crude jatropha

Wärtsilä has secured an order for an engine-driven combined heat and power (CHP) plant that will run on liquid biofuel extracted from the seeds of the jatropha plant. This CHP plant will be the first power plant in the world ever to produce both electricity and heat using crude jatropha oil as fuel, the company says.

The plant will be located in an agricultural area in Merksplas, Belgium and will be owned by Greenpower NV, itself a joint venture between 50% holder Thenergo, together with four local agricultural companies and a private investor holding 10% each.

Under the terms of the turnkey contract, Wärtsilä will deliver the CHP plant utilizing a 20V32 engine with an output of 9 MWe. The scope of supply also includes exhaust gas cleaning equipment and heat recovery systems. The plant will have a gross electrical efficiency of 44.2% and an overall efficiency of more than 85%.

Commercial operation of the plant is scheduled to begin in February 2009. Heat from the plant will be used primarily for farming processes, in nearby greenhouses. It will also be used in a drying process, which is part of a livestock farming manure digester plant that processes biogas and dry fertilizer material. Electricity will be sold to the grid.

The contract is valued at approximately €7 million.
‘The significance of this order is that it will be the first in the world whereby our engines are to run on vegetable oil from the jatropha plant and to produce both electricity and heat. It is a step towards using CO2-neutral fuels that do not compete with other valuable food crops,’ says Ronald Westerdijk, Business Development Manager, Wärtsilä Benelux countries.