GBE Gocher Bioenergie inaugurates biomass cogeneration plant

By GBE Gocher Bioenergie GmbH | November 02, 2012

GBE Gocher Bioenergie GmbH, a joint venture of RWE Innogy, Goch-based food producer Nähr-Engel and Goch municipal utility, is inaugurating the new biomass-fuel cogeneration plant on Klever Straße in Germany. The combined-heat-and-power plant fuelled with landscaping wood will supply Nähr-Engel with process heat in the future and will additionally feed electricity into the grid. The total project investments amount to approximately €34 million ($43.99 million).

“Today is a good day for Goch. This is because with the biomass-fuelled cogeneration plant we are making a sustainable contribution directly onsite to the sustainability of our city and our region,” said Karl-Heinz Otto, mayor of Goch.

The biomass-fuelled cogeneration plant is designed for a capacity of 7.6 MW electric and 28 MW thermal. It will generate electricity for up to 11,000 residential households and at the same time supply the company Nähr-Engel with up to 130,000 metric tons of process heat per year.

Nähr-Engel uses the steam for the production of high-grade potato products. “The conversion of our steam supply to largely carbon-neutral biomass constitutes a milestone for the sustainable development of our company,” said Johannes Anton van den Boom, managing director of Nähr-Engel.

“Being a manufacturer of foodstuffs, we take great care along the entire value chain that the required resources are used sparingly. The biomass plant fits in with this understanding of sustainability in practice.”

“The power plant does not only supply the steam for the production of the company Nähr-Engel to secure the company’s competitiveness and its jobs,” said Carlo Marks, Managing Director of Goch municipal utility. “It also produces electricity in a decentralized, ecological and climate-friendly way. At Goch, electricity production will exceed consumption in the future. Goch has thus already successfully managed the energy turnaround.”

The plant is largely carbon-neutral because it is fuelled by landscaping wood. Compared with a conventional plant of the same size, its CO2 savings potential totals approximately 48,000 metric tons per year. What is more, relatively high fuel utilization ratios of up to 70 percent can be achieved in the cogeneration plant by the combined production of electricity and heat.

“With a construction period of roughly 18 months, we are absolutely on target,” said Frank Mattat, Head of Biomass Germany of RWE Innogy. “The biomass-fuelled cogeneration plant has been tailored to both the specific energy requirements of the company Nähr-Engel and the special local conditions of the former Hendick site. The plant is a successful example of decentralized combined heat and power production and stands for climate protection and energy efficiency.”