The plant is part of Dutch utility Essent’s drive to strengthen its position in the Belgian energy market and was its first CHP plant in Belgium. It was built and owned by Essent Energy and is being operated by INEOS personnel. INEOS uses the process steam and Essent Energie signed long-term contracts for the supply of electricity, steam and demineralised water, with surplus power being fed into the Belgian electricity grid.
DIFFICULT CHP MARKET
Over the last years before construction, the climate for CHP investment strongly deteriorated. Price developments in the gas and electricity markets meant that new investments were often impractical.
Favourable local circumstances however made the Antwerp CHP project viable. The electricity market for small and medium sized business electricity market was liberalised in Flanders on 1 January 2003. Project approval was supported by both the Flemish regional government and the Belgian Government to meet their own environmental targets.
COMBINED CYCLE BRINGS PLANT FLEXIBILITY
The plant is powered by two natural-gas-fired 43.6MW SGT-800 gas turbines, which was the largest model in the Siemens industrial gas turbine range. Exhaust heat from the gas turbines is fed into heat recovery steam generators to produce steam to satisfy INEOS’ requirement.
Two heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) retrieve heat from the exhaust gases to produce steam for the single-casing axial SST-400 50MW steam turbine, also made by Siemens. This combined-cycle arrangement gives the benefit of additional plant flexibility and a higher power-to- heat ratio.
TOTAL ENERGY PRINCIPLE
Although still using fossil fuels, CHP plants use them much more efficiently (the “total energy” principle) than by producing electricity alone. With CHP, an ‘engine’ burns the primary fuel, normally natural gas, which drives an electrical alternator. Electricity from the alternator along with heat recovered from the engine’s cooling system and/or exhaust gases are used on site. This local electricity generation eliminates transmission losses through the national grid and the recovered heat is a bonus.
The power plant is making an important contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions which Belgium has committed to under the Kyoto treaty. Electricity is being sold in Belgium by Essent. The project was carried out under the direction of Industrial Utilities, an Essent Energie business unit.
Other companies are also supplied with electricity from the new plant: INEOS has invited new companies to set up on part of its grounds, offering the close availability of both CHP and a high grade chemical industry. The Antwerp site is already a rapidly growing “host” site with eight Third Party Companies owning assets at the location and taking advantage of the site’s strategic coastal position at the heart of the world’s second largest petrochemical zone.
INTERMEDIATE AND SPECIALITY CHEMICALS
INEOS Oxide, part of the โฌ5bn INEOS Group of Companies, produces intermediate and speciality chemicals with production sites including Antwerp, Belgium and Plaquemine, Louisiana, USA. INEOS comprises six businesses, each with a chemical company heritage. The company’s production network spans 60 manufacturing facilities in 16 countries throughout the world.
“The plant is powered by two natural-gas-fired 43.6MW SGT-800 gas turbines.”
ESSENT is a Dutch-based energy company with annual turnover of โฌ7bn. Apart from The Netherlands, it has business branches in Germany and Belgium. It is one of the largest power companies in the Benelux and in the Netherlands serves more than 2.4 million customers.
The company has its own production plant of around 4,700MW and is the largest producer of sustainable energy in the Netherlands.
Essent is the second cable television company of The Netherlands with over 1.7 million customers and also a player in the waste and environmental sector. Essent employs more than 12,000 people.