Emerson helping Albioma become fully renewable

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Global technology and software company Emerson has been selected by Albioma, a French independent energy provider, to help transition its coal-fired Bois-Rouge plant to 100 percent renewable energy.  

As part of Albioma’s wider mission to transition all of its existing fossil fuel plants to renewable energy, Emerson’s automation systems and software will enable the coal-fired power station to convert to biomass feedstock. 

The multimillion-dollar project is the latest example of how Emerson technologies are helping customers accelerate their transition to more sustainable energy. The power plant, one of three that Albioma operates on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean, will be converted to use 100 percent biomass wood pellets.  

The overhaul of the 108-megawatt facility will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 640,000 tons of CO2 equivalent per year, an 84 percent decrease in direct emissions compared to current operating levels. 

Pascal Langeron, chief operating officer Réunion Island, Albioma, said: “Our aim as a company is to reach almost 100 percent renewable energies by 2030 at the latest, and the complete discontinuation of coal at our flagship site represents a major milestone in this green revolution.  

“Emerson is an automation partner with whom we have a trusted relationship and whose extensive experience and expertise in biomass power plants will be crucial to this project being completed on schedule.” 

The Bois-Rouge plant consists of three generating units. Two units are already controlled by Emerson’s Ovation distributed control system, which will be modified for use with biomass feedstock, and the third unit will be replaced with a new Ovation system. The units will also be modernised with new turbine protection and health monitoring systems, safety systems for the boilers, and upgraded boiler control elements and instrumentation. 

To ensure the project is completed within the available time frame – a critical requirement of Albioma – Emerson will provide its Project Certainty methodologies, digital technologies and software expertise. In addition to delivering local engineering support for the project, Emerson will provide its Remote Virtual Office (RVO) collaboration platform – a secure virtual engineering and testing environment that will enable Albioma to access Emerson’s resources and ongoing support to reduce project risk and costs. 

Bob Yeager, president of Emerson’s Power and Water business, said: “Emerson has a vital role to play in the global transition to a sustainable energy future by supporting customers in their conversion projects.  

“Our automation technologies, software, solutions and biomass project expertise will help Albioma operate Bois-Rouge at peak performance, while also benefiting the environment by achieving a very significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.” 

Work on the transition project will begin during a planned outage in June 2022 and is scheduled to be completed within five months.  

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