Operations have begun at a new biomass-fired power plant in Belgium.
GDF Suez and its subsidiary Electrabel own a majority stake in the Rodenhuize plant and invested €125 million to convert it from a coal-fired facility to one which burns 100% biomass.
The power plant now burns wood pellets to generate 180MW of electricity. This is enough to power 320,000 households and will reduce CO2 emissions by 1.2 million tonnes each year.
One third of the wood pellets required will be supplied from Pacific BioEnergy's British Columbia, Canada-based pellet plant. The two companies signed a long-term agreement, which will see Electrabel acquire 225,000 tonnes a year of biomass from Pacific BioEnergy.
Electrabel owns 73% in the plant, while Ackermans & van Haaren owns 27%.
GDF Suez is also building a 190MW biomass power plant in Polaniec, Poland, which will be commissioned at the end of 2012.