The largest biomass cogeneration plant in France was opened this week and is expected to produce 69 MW of electricity and heat in the form of 260 metric tons an hour of steam.

The Dalkia-owned plant is located at the Biganos-Facture production plant of papermaker Smurfit Kappa Cellulose du Pin in the Aquitaine region of southwest France.

Following a 2006 call for tenders launched by France’s Regulatory Commission of Energy (CRE) in the aim of increasing the amount of electricity produced from biomass, the French government gave its agreement Dalkia to operate the plant for 20 years.

The boiler has to be fed with an annual 503,000 metric tons of biomass. Tree bark and fines from the pulp-screening process, which are already used in the existing boiler, account for 219,000 metric tons.

Supply is completed by 200,000 metric tons of branches and tree stumps provided by Smurfit Kappa Comptoir du Pin, and by 84,000 metric tons of recovered wood from Dalkia’s biomass supply chain.

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