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Veolia's Dalkia to Build Seven New Biomass Plants for Heating Networks

In line with its strategy of developing its biomass activities in France, Dalkia has been selected for seven projects as part of the government's third call for tenders for combined heating and electrical power plants fired by biomass (Biomass 3).

The total cumulative electricity capacity will be close to 60 MW. The projects will enable more than 570,000 metric tons of biomass to be recovered annually, mainly in the form of forest residue.

Dalkia is to build, provide with feedstock and operate seven new biomass-fired combined heating and power plants that will supply renewable heat to district heating networks and generate electricity. The biggest of the plants, which will have a capacity of 10.4 MW forelectricity and 33 MW for heat, will be connected to the Rennes district heating network and will heat over 15,000 housing units. Six other plants, with electricity capacities ranging from7.5 MW to 10 MW, will supply the existing district heating networks in Strasbourg, Orléans,Tours, Angers, Lens and Limoges. In total, the seven plants will have a cumulative electricity capacity of 57 MW, adding up to 23% of the capacity put out to tender. The plants will provide 82,500 equivalent housing units with green heat at very competitive prices, as heating networks using renewable energy sources for over 50% of feedstock benefit from the lower value-added tax rate of 5.5%.

The new projects are fully in line with Dalkia's policy of developing its activities in biomass,in particular through heating networks. Dalkia believes heating networks are the best way of introducing green heat, especially biomass, into cities and of enabling France to meet the ambitious targets it has set itself under the Grenelle Environment Forum.

Dalkia already won several projects as part of the Biomass 2 call for tenders for biomass combined heating and power plants and the call for tenders issued by ADEME, the French environment and energy management agency, for biomass-fired heat production plants forindustry. This latest success reinforces Dalkia's strategy, which aims to use all the levers offered by the Grenelle Environment Forum to increase the proportion of biomass used in itsenergy mix.

More than three-quarters of the 570 000 metric tons of biomass that will feed the seven newplants will come directly from forests, in line with Dalkia's feedstock strategy. Feedstock provision will be organized in partnership with all local forestry participants, including landowners, logging companies and forestry maintenance companies. Dalkia has set up a dedicated organisation that aims to bring together all these stakeholders in a long-term relationship. This approach will allow feedstock to be provided continuously from local sources while keeping the cost and quality of the biomass under control. It also contributes to maintaining the forests in the areas concerned and creating jobs locally.

Dalkia, a subsidiary of Veolia Environnement and EDF, has built up sound expertise in using renewable energy sources, especially biomass, in France and other countries. More than 180 installations operated by Dalkia use biomass, adding up to total capacity of 1,000 MW of heat. Among these, Dalki a owns and operates one of Europe's biggest biomass plants, in Pecs (Hungary). In France, in 2009 Dalkia brought onstream the biggest biomass plant to be connected up to a district heating network in Cergy Pontoise (Val d'Oise), and is now completing the construction of the biggest biomass-firedcombined heating and power plant. The plant, which will have a capacity of 140 MW of heat and 69 MW of electricity is being built in Biganos in the Landes area of southwest France for the Smurfit Kappa paper-based packaging group. In total, 1.2 million metric tons of biomass are consumed annually by installations managed by Dalkia, including 430,000 in France.

Posted 03/02/2010

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