Italy’s Cartiere del Garda paper mill and Alto Garda Servizi (AGS) have celebrated the opening of the Alto Garda Power CHP plant, which will help the paper mill save money through reduced energy costs and distribute both heat and power outside the facility. The plant, which features a GE Energy aeroderivative gas turbine, will produce electricity for the factory and for export to the market, as well as steam for internal production processes and hot water for the local district heating network of Riva del Garda.

This new district-heating network will heat more than 4500 houses in the town of Riva del Garda.

The Alto Garda Power project was promoted by AGS and Cartiere del Garda, with an objective to replace the old cogeneration, thermo-electrical plant, with a new, modern and technologically innovative plant. GE Energy’s LM6000 PD Sprint gas turbine generator package is at the heart of the system and generates approximately 46 MW of electricity. The exhaust gases are sent into a boiler, which produces steam that is then directed to a turbine to generate electricity or directly used for either internal production processes or hot water to feed the city’s district heating network.

‘Lowering energy costs means a sharp reduction in total production costs. In order to remain competitive, the paper industry must find ways to reduce high energy costs and save on energy,’ said Paolo Mattei, President, Alta Garda Power. ‘Keeping this in mind, it is worth highlighting the exceptional combustion performance of the new GE LM6000 gas turbine. The atmospheric emissions are half those of the former Cartiere del Garda cogeneration plant and well below the legal limit.’

GE’s LM6000 has a power output of 45.74 MW and 41% efficiency and is able to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long, says the company. Its high electrical efficiency allows the plant to provide the same power output as previously while consuming less gas, which translates into a substantial savings.