• The operating plant, involving an investment of 145 million euros, will employ about 270 people;
• The estimated annual output will meet the needs of 140,000 households, avoiding the atmospheric emission of 220,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The project is to be implemented by Powercrop, the equal joint venture between the two companies.
The project, approved by the Interministerial Committee and classified as a “national interest” initiative, is part of the plan to reconvert the former Eridania Sadam’s Villasor sugar refinery and re-deploy within Powercrop the workforce currently receiving wage supplementation support. Around 200 people will be employed during the construction phased beginning in June, while the plant, once operational, will provide direct and indirect jobs for around 270 workers.
The complex will be built in the Macchiareddu industrial area located in the Assemini municipality. It will be composed of a power plant with an installed capacity of approximately 50 MW comprising a 25 MW boiler fuelled with virgin woodchips from the supply chain and oilseed cake; two motors of about 11 MW each powered by vegetable oil deriving from on site seed pressing; a biogas plant of about 2 MW that uses other local biomasses and a photovoltaic plant with a capacity of around 200 kW. Total estimated annual production from the complex will meet the needs of 140,000 households therefore avoiding the atmospheric emissions of 220,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
Around 100,000 tonnes of oil seeds and over 105,000 tonnes of virgin wood chips will be needed each year from the supply chain once the complex is fully operational. To meet this need, various areas of the region began cultivating eucalyptus as far back as 2006, therefore creating job opportunities for approximately 150 farms using their land to grow biomass, also for energy use.
The full development of the local agriculture and forestry supply chains and optimisation of the use of clippings and other agricultural waste with the construction of the new plants is in line with the EU recommendation on the use of biomass as “one of the key ways of ensuring the security of supply and sustainable energy in Europe”.
"The Powercrop project, which uses innovative technologies to improve the environmental parameters for reducing CO2 emissions, fits well within the strategy that the Region of Sardinia is pursuing in the areas of the green economy and renewable energy to revitalize our productive system,” commented the President of the Region of Sardinia, Ugo Cappellacci. "The project will also have a significant impact on employment, particularly in the areas of agriculture and forestry, due to the considerable amounts of biomass and oils that must be produced in Sardinia to fuel the industrial plant. This latter issue is one that requires serious study and research, something the Region intends to support. Along with the other Porto Torres initiatives being developed as part of the European green chemistry project, the Powercrop plant in Macchiareddu is a concrete example of how our island has been able to turn the page in recent years and seeks to establish itself as the cutting-edge region in the green economy field for abating CO2 and for clean energy.”
“By kick-starting this new project, Enel Green Power is confirming its commitment to expand the local agricultural biomass supply chain,” commented Francesco Starace, CEO of Enel Green Power. “The investment in local biomass will ensure the full development of resources from the territory as well as boosting local employment. Thanks to the commitment of the Sardinia region towards the Macchiareddu complex we will also be able to fully develop all potentials resulting from the combination of multiple renewable sources, a technology in which we are global leaders”.
“I am very pleased because we have just managed to open the first of six groundworks for the reconversion of the old sugar refineries,” stated Gaetano Maccaferri, Chairman of the Maccaferri Group and of Seci Energia,“We were forced to close the refineries in 2006 as a result of the EU reform of the sugar beet industry. We acknowledge the President of the Sardinia Region and all the regional councillors in charge for their efforts to start the reconversion. We are confident that, thanks to this biomass plant, we will raise significant levels of income for the territory through the creation of direct and indirect jobs as well as throughout the entire local agro-energy value chain.”
Enel Green Power is the Enel Group company (enel.com) fully dedicated to the development and management of renewable energy sources at the international level, with operations in Europe and the Americas. The company generated more than 25 billion kWh in 2012 from water, sun, wind and the Earth’s heat - enough to meet the energy needs of approximately 10 million households and avoid the emission of over 18 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. Enel Green Power is a world leader in the sector thanks to its well-balanced generation mix, providing generation volumes well over the sector average. The Company has an installed capacity of more than 8,000 MW from a mix of sources including wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass. Currently, EGP has over 700 operational plants in 16 countries in Europe and the Americas.
SECI ENERGIA is the sub-holding company in which the equity holdings of the Maccaferri Group in the energy sector are concentrated, particularly those involved in renewable energy resources such as biomass, biogas, photovoltaic, wind, hydro and geothermal power and in energy recovery. In addition to Powercrop, SECI Energia is active in specific markets through Enerray, which builds turnkey photovoltaic systems installed on rooftops and on the ground and provides long-term maintenance for such systems; Sebigas, which specializes in the design, installation and management of biogas plants fuelled with agricultural biomass, by-products of agro-industrial processes and animal waste; Exergy, which designs and supplies Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) modules for combined electricity and heat generation. ORC technology uses low and medium-temperature heat sources that are otherwise unusable by recovering heat from the exhaust of engines, which can also be fuelled by biomass, turbines or industrial furnaces, low-enthalpy geothermal sources and concentrating solar power (CSP) systems.