In Poland, Dalkia launches its largest ever biomass project

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Dalkia, owned by French energy giant EDF and Veolia Environnement, on Monday said it would build two biomass generators in Poland worth 70 million euros by 2012, in its largest-ever biomass project.

"Up to now this is the Dalkia Group's largest biomass combustion project," a Dalkia statement issued Monday said.

"The investment of 70 million euros (89 million dollars) which is to generate around 364 million euros in supplementary annual turnover, is a project which from 2012 will exceed the target of 15 percent renewables fixed by Poland's energy policy and will prevent the emission of 460,000 tons of C02 emissions per year," the statement said.

Coal-rich Poland relies on the fossil fuel to generate some 90 percent of its electricity and a substantial portion of its heat in plants dating predominantly from the communist era.

The two new electricity and heating plants, in Poznan, western Poland and the central industrial city of Lodz, will use some 700,000 tons of biomass as of the end of 2011.

The plants are to feed Poland's national electricity grid and provide heat for some 700,000 residents of the two cities.

According to experts, biomass energy plants fired by organic matter ranging from agricultural waste such as straw or manure to forest waste products can have C02 emissions up to 60 percent lower than facilities using fossil fuels.

In April, France's GDF Suez energy group also said it would spend 240 million euros to build a biomass electricity plant in Polaniec, south-east Poland by the end of 2012.

An EU member since 2004, Poland is subject to the rules of the 27-member bloc's energy pact which requires a 20 percent cut in the emission of greenhouse gases by 2020, compared with 1990 levels.

It also specifies a 20 percent increase in the share of renewable and a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption.

Poland is expected to open its first nuclear energy reactor by 2020.

© 2010 AFP

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