Work progresses with Bulgarian gasification plant

Eqtec Iberia, part of Spanish holding company Ebioss Energy, is progressing with the construction of its 5MW Karlovo renewable plant located in Bulgaria's Plovdiv province.

The biomass-to-energy plant with integrated biomass gasification technology, construction on which started last October, will use three GE Jenbacher fuel-flexible engines – one J612 and two J620 units – powered by syngas derived from straw and woodchips to generate enough electricity to power 2,000 homes.

The plant is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014 and will help Bulgaria produce 16% of its energy demand from renewable sources – a target which must be met by 2020. Currently over 70% of the nation's energy is sourced from imported natural gas and oil.

'Using syngas as a fuel is uncommon in such plants and represents an innovative solution to the energy challenges Bulgaria, and many other nations, face. However, it is challenging to develop an integrated gasification design that doesn't produce syngas containing impurities that can foul engines,' explains Leon van Vurren, global sales leader, Jenbacher gas engines for GE's distributed power business. 'The selection of technologies to work together is important, and the Karlovo plant produces cleaner syngas.'

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