Construction of BEE’s massive Ghent biomass plant to begin in 2016

The construction of one of the world’s largest biomass power plants is set to begin in Belgium in early 2016.

Belgian Eco Energy’s (BEE) proposed 215MW plant will be built in at the Port of Ghent, where it will cover an area of approximately 5ha.

The €315 million project will create an estimate of 1,000 jobs during construction and between 100-120 permanent jobs what it starts operation in 2018.

The plant will generate 215MW of electricity and 100MW of thermal energy by burning woodchips, wood pellets, and agri-residues sourced mostly from Southern and Northern Europe, Western Africa, and the Atlantic Basin.

Its electrical output will account for 2% of Belgium's overall electricity production and will be equivalent to serving 450,000 households.

Part of the electricity generated will be sold to industrial customers, while the remaining power will be conveyed to the national grid, and the heat will be conveyed to industrial customers initially.

Abengoa was awarded the engineering, design and construction contract for the project in November 2014, whereas the €150 million contract to operate the power plant for 15 years was awarded to Veolia in October 2015.

The plant has an expected production life of at least 35 years, and it is expected to offset 450,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually when compared to natural gas plant as part of EU’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2020.

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