Pakistan, China projects to use Jenbacher engines

By Erin Voegele
Web exclusive posted August 8, 2008 at 9:23 a.m. CST

GE Energy's ecomagination-certified Jenbacher gas engines are allowing two companies in Pakistan and China to produce electrical power and heat from biogas.

Shakargani Mills Ltd.'s biogas power plant in Jhang, Pakistan, announced July 31 it will be the country's first renewable energy project to use biogas created from sugarcane waste made during ethanol production. The Beijing Deqingyuan Chicken Farm Waste Utilization plant announced August 4 it will be the first facility in China to use biogas created from chicken manure to generate heat and power.

The Shakargani Mills facility in Pakistan is powered by eight JGS 320 GS B/L Jenbacher units. It's estimated the facility will have the ability to power 50,000 homes, helping to overcome the country's current 3,500 megawatt energy shortage. The engine units are designed to support the mill's on-site power and heating requirements. Electricity from the eight megawatt plant will also be delivered to the national grid through a 22-year power purchase agreement with the local grid operator. The estimated eight megawatts of heat from the engines' exhaust gas and jacket water will be used to support the company's distillery process.

The facility is providing a reliable on-site source of power to help the mill and other industrial operations meet production requirements and remain competitive. The biogas used to fuel the Jenbacher gas engines is extracted from spent wash, a residual of the mill's ethanol sugarcane molasses.

As a renewable energy project, the plant is also eligible for carbon credits because it enhances energy efficiency at the mill and displaces energy on the national grid produced from fossil fuels. By using biogas instead of fossil fuels, the plant is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20,000 tons annually. In addition, by utilizing the mill's free biomass resources, the facility's overall operational costs should be reduced.

According to Mohammad Asghar Qureshi, managing director of Shakargani Mills, and Kashif Raza Kazmi, Shakargani Mills' general manager, the plant is seen as a successful demonstration project for the region. Pakistan produces approximately 225 MMly (60 MMgy) of ethanol, and they expect many other distillery companies to install similar plants in an effort to support the energy needs of the national grid.

At the Beijing Deqingyuan Chicken Farm Waste Utilization plant in China, biogas created from chicken manure will be used to power Jenbacher gas engines. Located in YanQing District, the farm owns three million chickens that produce 220 tons of manure and 170 tons of wastewater daily. The farm's new cogeneration system features an anaerobic digester system to treat the waste materials that will produce enough biogas to feed two Jenbacher JMS 320 GS-BL gas engines.

The plant has the capacity to generate two megawatts of electricity that will be used on the farm. The facility's thermal output is used to support the chicken waste fermentation process and to heat the chicken farm during the winter. The plant will produce 14,600 megawatt hours of electricity annually and is designed to help reduce suburban electricity shortages.

By using biogas instead of coal for energy production, the new project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 95,000 tons annually, qualifying the project for the U.N.-sanctioned Clean Development Mechanism program. The improvements to the farm support the guidelines of several Chinese government initiatives, including the Underground Water Conservation Law, the New Rural Construction Plan and the Distributed Energy Solution Policy.

"This biogas project will quickly pay for itself by meeting the customer's demand for cost-effective electricity and heat," said Jack Wen, president and chief executive officer of GE Energy China. "We estimate that the customer will save more than $1.2 million a year in electricity costs alone."

Similar biomass projects utilizing Jenbacher gas engines have been implemented in other areas. In 2007 GE Energy announced that Jenbacher engines would be installed at three landfills near Durban, South Africa. The project was to be the country's first methane gas-to-energy project and was designed to provide electricity to the municipal grid. A similar project in Oberwert, Austria, was also announced in 2007. The project was designed to use two Jenbacher gas engines to produce heat and power from wood gas. In Seville, Spain, a project using three of the engines was designed to dry sludge products resulting from olive oil production while supplying power to the mill and the national power grid.

In June GE Energy announced the successful installation of its Ecomagination-certified Jenbacher gas engine at a commercial farm in Limena, Italy, owned by farmers and cattle breeders Azienda Agricola di Giuseppe and Paolo Gomiero. The engine will power the Baita del Latte farm's first biogas plant. It also announced that it will provide control systems for 50 new biomass-fueled power plants to be built in China. The Atlanta-based company will distribute the controls technology to Wuhan Kaidi Electric Power Engineering Co. Ltd., which is building the facilities. The systems will link all plant operations, data acquisitions and performance analyses in order to monitor and control various plant mechanisms.