Hospitals offer significant potential for CHP systems
Hospitals offer significant potential for CHP systems
Credit: Arke Energy Systems


Dominated by international OEMs, Turkey’s cogeneration and trigeneration sector still offers a wealth of opportunities for developers. Indeed, the market is perceived so positively that new market entrants are emerging, David Appleyard reports.


Turkey’s cogeneration and trigeneration sector is characterised by relatively small projects. The sector is dominated by reciprocating engines which generally display a higher efficiency at lower power ratings than the alternative gas turbine setup.

As Abdulhalik Emre Teksan, Energy Systems Engineer at Teksan Jenerator, explains: ‘Most of the projects are with gas engines in Turkey because typically the needed output is below 10 MW and the desired efficiency is over 40%, so this means mostly gas engines are selected.’

He points out that most CHP applications in the country have requirements of between 1 MW and 3 MW, adding: ‘In Turkey, due to the prices of natural gas and electricity, a certain rate of efficiency is needed to be able to generate electricity a little bit cheaper [than grid prices]. Because of that, an efficiency of at least 40% is desired and in most of the small-scale gas turbines the efficiency is a little lower so this is why in the Turkish market gas engines are dominant.’

That is not to say that there are no gas turbine-based projects operating in the country for larger and more suitable projects. For example, in January 2012, Bis Enerji selected GE’s aeroderivative LM6000-PC Sprint technology for a 48 MW cogeneration project for Bis Enerji Elektrik Uretim AS. The project expanded the capacity of a merchant power plant located in Bursa, increasing the cogeneration plant’s installed capacity from 410 MW to 495 MW. Commercial operations began in August 2012.

Nonetheless, for the majority of projects, gas engines from major OEMs such as GE Jenbacher, MWM and Wärtsilä dominate the market, typically through a Turkish partner organisation.

Most Turkish CHP systems are between 1 MW and 3 MW Credit: Arke Energy Systems
Most Turkish CHP systems are between 1 MW and 3 MW
Credit: Arke Energy Systems

Among the applications using cogeneration systems, landfill gas has proven to be very popular. For example, from 2006-2010 GE Jenbacher received orders for more than 50 units with a total capacity of over 70 MW for landfill gas-fired units supplied through Topkapı Endüstri Malları, founded in 1985. By way of illustration, in April 2009 a landfill gas-to-energy project, owned by Ortadogu Enerji, was formally unveiled in Istanbul. Located at two landfill sites in Istanbul and powered by a total of 23 of GE’s Jenbacher gas engines, the final units were delivered in 2010.

With a total waste disposal volume of 47 million tonnes and a daily disposal rate of about 14,000 tonnes, the two landfills are among the largest in the world. This 35 MW landfill gas project was developed as part of a national initiative to reduce the environmental impacts of solid waste facilities.

As Teksan observes: ‘Actually, biogas is getting more and more popular. Before 2000 it was a little slower, but after that the government started to give some bonuses for this kind of application and these types of gas engines fuelled by biogas are becoming more and more popular, as are certain types of projects such landfill, sewage treatment and animal wastes.’

However, he notes that most landfill sites in the country already feature these types of installations. ‘Three or four years before, it was a little bit more attractive for the landfill biogas application, but most of these applications are done,’ he says.

Nonetheless, other cogeneration applications using GE Jenbacher engines include a 13.4 MW installation at the Koruma Klor factory in Derince which produces chlorine-based products. Other examples include a project for Usak Seramik, the first gas engine application in the ceramics sector in Turkey.

Czech engine manufacturer Tedom develops CHP projects in Turkey in partnership with Arke Enerji. Tedom’s 2013 annual report reveals growth in CHP systems of more than 30% compared with 2012 figures. According to the company, this growth resulted from the completion of biogas plant projects, mostly as a consequence of legislative amendments.

Arke Energy Systems delivers cogeneration and trigeneration systems to industrial facilities, hotels, hospitals, education facilities, business centres, shopping malls, sport centres, apartment buildings, wastewater treatment plants, agricultural farms and landfill projects. Its cogeneration units are supplied in an output range of 5-2000 kWe.

Ozay Kas, a mechanical engineer with Arke Energy Systems, explains: ‘Cogeneration and trigeneration projects have been developed, based on the regulations by Energy Ministry and Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA), for 20 years. But until 2010, all CHP facilities had to get a licence from EMRA, a rule which proved to be a major obstacle to establishing CHP systems.

‘However, according to a 2010 EMRA regulation, some organisations had the right to construct cogeneration systems without a licence if a project is required to meet self-consumption demand.’

By 2010, industrial facilities that had pioneered CHP systems in Turkey had reached a certain maturity, having installed some 7000 MWe, says Kas. ‘However, service facilities such as hospitals, hotels, shopping malls, universities and public buildings have been shining for five years,’ he notes, adding, ‘When we consider that there are 1500 hospitals, thousands of hotels and hundreds of shopping malls and universities in Turkey, it is clear that there is huge potential for CHP systems.’

Indeed, Teksan cites a new law under which every hospital with more than 200 beds is now required to install a cogeneration or trigeneration system. Teksan recently sold such a cogeneration system, consisting of five 1100 KVA diesel generators and a steam output of 400 kWth. He says: ‘We think that with projects like this there will be a very good opportunity for cogeneration manufacturing in Turkey.’

According to Kas, average electricity consumption at state hospitals is 120 kWh/m2 a year, at university hospitals it is 160 kWh/m2 a year, while at private hospitals consumption is some 310 kWh/m2 a year.

Given these figures, total annual electrical energy consumption is around 1850 GWh in state hospitals, 710 GWh in university hospitals, and 1250 GWh in private hospitals. In total, hospitals account for 3810 GWh annually, or 1.52% of Turkey’s total electricity consumption.

Similarly, hospital heat energy consumption averages 200-350 kWh/m2 a year, depending on the climatic conditions of the region. The total annual heating energy needs of hospitals is approximately 6600 GWh, giving a total gas consumption of 765 million m3 per year. Thus, hospital-based cogeneration systems can make a significant contribution to Turkish energy security.

Other applications

Major OEMs operating in Turkey include Wärtsilä, which in 2004 was awarded a contract for an 84.8 MWe replacement and extension of an existing diesel power plant at Manisa in western Turkey.

In 1999, Wärtsilä supplied a 54.3 MW baseload plant to Manisa with three of its 18V46 diesel generating sets. It met the heat and electricity demand of Manisa Organised Industrial District (MOSB) which houses some 115 companies from a range of industries.

Under the additional contract, the existing diesel generating sets were replaced by three Wärtsilä sets, each wtih an electrical output of 16,638 kWe. The total steam production capacity is around 40 tonnes/hour at a pressure of 14 bar. Hot water is fed into the district heating system of the industrial park.

More recently, in December 2009 Wärtsilä supplied equipment for the Naksan power plant project in Gaziantep, located close to the Syrian border.

Developed by Naksan Plastik, which uses the plant’s electricity and heat for its own manufacturing processes, any surplus electricity is sold to the national grid. Wärtsilä supplied two gas engines with a combined output of approximately 18 MW.

In 2011, Wärtsilä supplied equipment for another textile company, H G Enerji Elektrik Üretimi, for a power plant project in Gediz, in the province of Kütahya in the Aegean region of the country.

Meanwhile, Turkish firm Iltekno partners with MWM (now operating as Caterpillar Energy Solutions GmbH) and MAN Diesel, and in June 2014 implemented the installation of a 1.6 MW cogeneration plant for Fırat University, Iltekno’s third such university CHP installation.

In October last year, operations began at a 1.2 MW installation at a landfill gas project in Malatya in the East Anatolian region using a MWM engine.

Osman Nuri Vardı, CEO of operator Dogu Star, commented at the time: ‘Although this investment project, involving installed power output of 1.2 MWe, is rather small, it is in fact of great significance to our country, our region and Malatya.’

He added: ‘Each year, Turkey’s energy imports reach just under US$60 billion. There are plans of further reduction of this financial burden in the future. In fact, whereas the level of natural gas imports was approximately 55% of all power generation five to ten years ago, that figure has already dropped to some 44%.

‘Thanks to Turkey’s current investment programme for expanding power generation from domestic and renewable resources, construction is underway on CHP plants with a total capacity of 100 MWe,’ he added. ‘Projects like the one in Malatya are being planned in all Turkish cities and are to be completed as soon as possible. Today, the percentage of electricity produced with landfill gas is 1.3% of overall power generation in Turkey.’

A typical hospital's daily electricy consumption and production
A typical hospital’s daily electricy consumption and production

A new market entrant

As noted, until recently the Turkish cogeneration market has been dominated by international OEMs, as Teksan notes: ‘Most of the projects were actually done by companies like GE Jenbacher or Caterpillar, who entered the Turkish market. All of the packages were completely imported from, let’s say, Germany or the USA, and because of that the installations’ investment prices were quite high. This was affecting the market a little bit, scaring people off.

‘However, we are trying to decrease that [cost] with local manufacturing and we are trying to make cogeneration a little bit more attractive.’

Thus, building on its history as a diesel engine manufacturer and diesel genset packager, two years ago the company launched a proprietary gas engine product. Indeed, Teksan finalised two projects in Turkey last year, one a trigeneration development and the other a biogas-fired cogeneration installation.

Teksan explains: ‘Right now we are focused on cogeneration because we think that in the upcoming years it will be quite a rising star in the Turkish market because with the high-efficiency engines the return on investment time is quite good in Turkey, between two and three and half years.

‘I believe that in the coming years it will be very, very important,’ he continues. ‘The government is aware so it is making new laws to increase the efficiency of new buildings, and is giving some subsidies because of local manufacturing for biogas cogeneration applications. We think that local manufacturing will be quite important.’

A typical hospital's seasonal heat demand and production
A typical hospital’s seasonal heat demand and production

He adds that while with such positive market fundamentals new entrants to the market are to be expected, he considers this will be a slow process. ‘We expect incomers to the market but right now we’re the only local manufacturer for cogeneration systems,’ he says.

And Teksan points out that there are still considerable opportunities: ‘Smaller-scale biogas applications from animal waste [slurry] we think will be quite attractive for the coming years.’ He anticipates these projects to have a typical capacity below 500 kW.

Concluding, Teksan observes: ‘We believe the cogeneration market in Turkey is just in the beginning process. Even though there are projects which are, say, 15 years old, I don’t believe the cogeneration market is saturated.

‘Small-scale biogas trigeneration and cogeneration systems will be a very, very important issue in Turkey in the coming years. There will be, I believe, lots of new installations.’

David Appleyard is a journalist focusing on energy matters.