The Bitburg Braurei in Germany has this week seen its combined heat and power (CHP) plant reach a landmark 50 000 hours of successful operation.

The brewery has been using cogeneration technology in the guise of GE’s Jenabcher J312 engine, which enables biogas to be converted into power and heat, in line with the company’s process requirements.

Bitburg brewery

It has led to prime energy savings for the company of 10 per cent.

Since it began operating in 2005, the CHP facility has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by an equivalent of 10,000 tons and demonstrated higher efficiency and economy compared to the site’s previous steam boiler technology by using biogas.

“Working with Bitburger allowed us to develop a customized technology solution that met their specific needs,” said Rafael Santana, president and CEO of Gas Engines for GE Energy. “Our gas engine technology provides a high degree of fuel flexibility with the capability to operate on a wide range of gases such as biogas or natural gas for the Bitburger brewery. Its proven reliability and availability are keys to achieving the successful 50,000-hour operating milestone.”

In general, CHP applications are growing in Germany specifically to support the country’s energy turnaround efforts, as well as throughout Europe, based on the CHP incentives that are a key part of the European Union’s 20-20-20 initiative. 

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