Gas

Natural gas is the second largest energy source in our generation facilities (nuclear power takes the top spot). This fuel is used to power our combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants as well as our cogeneration units. We offer cogeneration services to our industrial customers who need heat for their working processes.

Our gas fired power stations

CCGT: efficient and flexible

ENGIE Electrabel has been investing in natural gas-powered combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants since the mid-1990s. The company’s 6 CCGT plants have a total capacity of 2,391 MW.

CCGT power plants generate electricity by combining a gas turbine and a conventional thermal power station. They produce a yield of over 53%, which reduces their CO2 emissions. We work closely with manufacturers to make them more flexible and enable them to serve as a back-up unit for renewable energies.

 

How does a CCGT work?

CCGT plant ENGIE

 

    •    To generate electricity in a CCGT plant, natural gas is first burned in a gas turbine’s combustion chamber.
    •    The hot combustion gases move the turbine, which is coupled to a generator that generates electricity.
    •    The combustion gases leave the gas turbine and move to the recovery boiler. They heat the piping in which water flows; this water is then turned into steam.
    •    The combustion gases then leak out via a chimney. The hot steam powers a steam turbine connected to a generator. Electricity is generated for the second time.
    •    Upon exiting the turbine, the steam condenses within either an air condenser or water condenser.


If an air condenser is used, the steam moves through a number of pipes and is cooled by an ambient air current produced by the large ventilators. Upon coming into contact with the cold air, the steam condenses and turns back into water flowing towards the recovery boiler. If a water condenser is used for the condensation of the steam, the reheated water is cooled in a cooling tower.
 
Did you know: there are no pylons or high-voltage lines around the Saint-Ghislain or Herdersbrug CCGT plants – they are all underground.

 

Cogeneration

Cogeneration involves generating heat and electricity simultaneously in one facility. The creation of heat is the main goal, with the generation of electricity being a secondary concern.

Our generation facilities comprise 9 cogeneration units with a total capacity of 458 MW. These facilities, which transform 85% of energy from fuel to electricity and heat, are located at the sites of our customers who need a lot of industrial heat (chemical companies at the Port of Antwerp, for instance).

We continue to enhance these partnerships and utilise our experience to benefit our business customers. All cogeneration units are tailor-made according to the customer’s needs.

 

Blast furnace gas

In addition to natural gas, ENGIE Electrabel uses other gaseous fuels in its generation facilities. The conventional power plant in Knippegroen (305 MW) not only burns ArcelorMittal blast furnace gases, but also recovers converter gas from the steel plant. This project demonstrates our desire to team up with our customers and come up with tailor-made solutions.

 

Turbojets

Turbojets start quickly, but their efficiency is limited. They are peak and emergency units that absorb unexpected increases in electricity consumption and assist in the event of sudden failure in other production units. They function like an aircraft jet engine and consist of a compressor, a combustion chamber and a turbine.

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