A 13 MW pellet-fuelled combined heat and power plant has commenced construction at Estrees-Mons, in the Somme department of north-eastern France.

NEREA, a subsidiary of Akuo Energy, is responsible for this project, Cogénération Biomasse d’Estrées-Mons, which represents a EUR 65m ($86m) investment, which was granted approval by the Regulatory Commission of Energy through its third call for tender for biomass projects.

Biomass pelletsThe project will be in operation by the end of 2014 and will produce 100,000 MWh of electricity per year (equal to the electrical consumption of 25,000 homes), as well as 25 tons of steam per hour for the Bonduelle Europe Long Life factory in Estrées- Mons.

SABEHF (Société Biomasse Energie des Hauts de France), a NEREA subsidiary, will supply the two plants with wood pellets. This storage, crushing and distribution center began operation in early January 2013, in partnership with two local forest product companies, Idélot and Huberlant.

“These projects only represent the first step for Akuo Energy in biomass, since several other projects of the same type are currently being developed in France and abroad,” said Jean Christophe Guimard, director of Akuo Biomass.

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