World’s largest CFB biomass power plant begins commercial operation

Source:Foster Wheeler
The Polaniec biomass power plant in Polaniec, Poland.

Foster Wheeler AG (Nasdaq: FWLT) announced that a new GDF Suez power plant is now in commercial operation, delivering over 200 MWe of electricity to the country’s electricity grid solely from biomass.

The new biomass power plant was constructed at the site of the existing 1,800 MW coal-fired Polaniec power station in Polaniec, Poland.

The plant is powered by the world’s largest and most advanced biomass CFB (circulating fluidized-bed) boiler, which was supplied by Foster Wheeler. CFB technology is capable of fully firing a wide range of biomasses and other fuels, including those derived from agricultural crops. “Agro” biomass can be produced much faster and on a larger scale than longer growth wood-based biomasses, thus improving the economics and sustainability of biomass power.

“The challenge has always been to design a boiler capable of reliably firing difficult-to-burn agro biomass while at the same time increasing steam temperatures to achieve high power plant efficiency,” said Jaroslaw Mlonka, President and Chief Executive Officer of Foster Wheeler Energia Polska. “This particular CFB incorporates many advanced design features that enable the Polaniec plant to achieve a net plant efficiency of over 36%, based on the fuels lower heating value, while firing solely biomass containing up to a 20% agro component.”

Mlonka further stated, “This Advanced Bio CFB -- or ABC -- is the largest and most advanced biomass CFB steam generator Foster Wheeler has ever supplied. Our goal for this project was to provide GDF Suez with a reliable, biomass-flexible boiler that would allow the client to build a high-efficiency green power plant – and we have achieved that objective.”

The Polaniec plant is owned and operated by GDF Suez, one of the leading energy producers in the world. The plant began commercial operation on November 15, 2012, six weeks ahead of schedule. Foster Wheeler provided a turnkey delivery of the boiler island and fuel yard, including design and supply of all steam generation and auxiliary equipment, civil work, erection and commissioning.

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