Biomass

Biomass power plants are one of our sources of green electricity.

Green energy for power

Our conventional power plant at Rodenhuize is solely powered by biomass (e.g. wood pellets) to generate electricity. This power plant, that was previously fuelled by coal, has been turned into a unit running wholly on biomass.

On August 31st 2020 we closed our biomass power plant at Les Awirs (Flémalle).

 

Our biomass power plants

The combustion of biomass is considered to be CO2 neutral. The quantity of CO2 released into the atmosphere during combustion is equal to that which biomass took from the air while it grew.

A verification procedure has been created together with ENGIE Laborelec, ENGIE's centre of expertise for research and development, with a view to guaranteeing the sustainability of the biomass used. The various steps in the biomass supply chain were investigated taking into account sustainability criteria, including:

  • forest management and the production process
  • compliance with legislation
  • energy consumption and CO2 emissions during the production and transport of the biomass
  • traceability from the source up to delivery to the power plant

The procedure has been approved by the Flemish and Walloon authorities and is controlled by an independent control body.

 

Biomass power plants: stable and reliable facilities

Belgium’s geographic, climatological and urban nature restricts the development of hydraulic, wind and solar energies, so biomass plays a major role in this regard. Generating electricity using biomass power plants is stable and extremely predictable to the extent that these power plants may be used as base loading units.

 

How does it work?

Biomass - how does it work - ENGIE

 

  • We receive the pellets by boat and store them in huge silos.
  • They are then taken to the hammer mills, which crush the pellets to wood dust.
  • This is then transported along a pneumatic belt to fuel the boiler.
  • The heat of the flames is collected by pipes. The water running in these pipes is turned into steam.
  • This pressurised steam powers a steam turbine and a generator coupled to the turbine generates electricity.

There exist other methods to generate electricity from biomass:

  • Inject wood dust into pulverized coal ducts and burn it along with the coal or on its own
  • Convert biomass in biogas (for example by gasification of wood chips in a wood gasifier)
  • Pulverize biomass together with coal and blown the whole in the boiler
  • Did you know: burning biomass is CO2 neutral. It only releases into the atmosphere the carbon dioxide stored during the growth of the vegetation.

 

Our biomass power plants

More info about our Max Green biomass power plant in Rodenhuize.

Discover all our production sites of this type