Expected large scale biomass projects in Europe and Asia

Expected biomass projects in Europe 2020-2021 (total > 6 million ton/year)

Company Plant Capacity (MW) Co-firing? Status Consumption
EPH Lynemouth 396 Dedicated 100% Commissioning Ranged 57-85% weekly availability
Q1 2020
1.6mn t/yr
MGT Teeside 299 Dedicated 100% Planned 31 July 2020 1-1.2mn t/yr
RWE Amer 630 80% by 2020 38% in Q3 2019 1.7-1.8mn t/yr
RWE Eemshaven A & B 777 15% “Almost at 15%” in
November 2019
800,000-830,000 t/yr
Uniper MPP3 1.1GW 15% November 2019 start 200,000-250,000 t/yr
Onyx Power Rotterdam 731 10% Offline until April 2020 500,000-550,000 t/yr

Expected biomass projects in South Korea during 2020-2022 (total > 4 million ton/year of pellets and chips)

Company Plant Capacity (MW) Start-up Wood pellet (t/yr) Wood chip (t/yr)
Korea South East Power (Koen) Yeongdong unit 2 200 June 2020 900.000
CGN Daesan Power CGN Daesan Power 109 December 2020 500.000
GS EPS Dangjin unit 2 105 December 2020 300.000 200.000
SMG Energy SMG biomass power
100 delayed to June-July 2021 430.000
Gwangyang Green Energy Gwangyang biomass
power plant
220 July 2022 (delayed) 480.000 528.000
Korea Midland Power Gunsan Bio 200 December 2022 (delayed) 800.000

Source: Biomass markets adjust to challenging times. Steady growth in demand.
Webinar – 19 March 2020. Public Argusmedia.com Market report

Fuel analytics: residual bran boiler operated with Ca-based additive

The grate boiler analyzed is fired primarily with bran, which is a residue from the milling of wheat grain (outer shell of wheat) used for the production of ethanol. Bran has an ash content up to 7%wt. dry basis.

The vertical type boiler is installed in the largest bioethanol factory in Wanze, Belgium. The boiler was built 11 years ago, in 2009. Bran can be used for animal feed, but also for generating energy. The bran boiler was unable to supply all the required steam for the production plant so it was decided to use natural gas (n-gas) for the remaining energy input. The n-gas is utilized in an external superheater and the flue gas is led to the bran boiler. The plant has a capacity of burning 20 tonnes bran/hour, for a total of 75 MWth, 25 MWel (100 ton/h steam at 92 bar, 520°C including the n-gas external SH). The bran is delivered to the boiler-dosing silo and fed into the boiler with feeding screws.

The combustion takes place on a water-cooled vibrating grate, suitable for the 13.5 – 17.0 MJ/kg moist and high ash bran. The grate consists panel walls mounted on leaf springs. These panels are activated in pairs, in counter phase, by a vibrating unit. Primary combustion air is injected through holes drilled in the fins of the grate panel. The flue gas from the n-gas external superheater is mixed into the bran boiler in front of the convection section reaching a final flue gas temperature of 520°C. The bottom ash is removed with a submerged chain conveyor and carried to an open ash pit.

In order to avoid clogging, the boiler is designed with two empty boiler passes to ensure sufficient cooling of the fuel gas before entering the convection part. In that way, ash will deposit in solid form. The bran fuel is expected to generate fouling and slag on the walls in the empty boiler passes, which have therefore been equipped with water soot blowers. Downstream of the economizers, baghouse filters were installed to remove the fly ash particles from flue gas. To reduce the emissions of SO2 and HCl, NaHCO3 particles were injected before the baghouse filters.

The plant was initially operated with pure bran. However, after successful operation of a few months, according to published literature, the baghouse filters were found to be blocked by “sintered” fly ash, which could not be removed by pressurized air and hindered the continuous operation of the plant. In addition, severe ash deposition was observed in the economizers of the plant, with flue gas temperatures of 380-180°C. To minimize these problems, the plant was operated with the addition of 5-8 wt % CaCO3. It appeared that the baghouse filter problem was mitigated by addition of CaCO3 and by changing the operational condition of the filter, whereas the ash deposition problem in the economizers still appeared occasionally, based on the reported published return on experience.

BIOFACT Dashboard is a tool to predict ash related risks in combustion units. The tool has been applied to bran, and the results is reported in the following.


It should be noted that the composition of the bran used on the grate-fired plant varied over time, and deviates from that shown in the BIOFACT Dashboard. Moreover, CaCO3 was applied in the boiler. Due to these factors, the full-scale results can only be compared with the results from predicted data qualitatively. Emission guarantees out of the boiler (6% dry O2) according to boiler manufacturer:

  • NOx: 278 mg/Nm3 (including primary mitigation measures)
  • Dust: 18 mg/Nm3 (after flue gas treatment)
  • HCI: 25 mg/Nm3 (after flue gas treatment)
  • SO2:  179 mg/Nm3 (after flue gas treatment)

Today, the biomass-fired boiler uses bran, biogas and a by-product derived from distillation such as fusel oil.

Reference: volund.dk/References_and_cases/Biomass_energy_solutions/Biowanze

BIOFACT Ash Chart: ash content for 500+ biomass fuels

The BIOFACT Ash Chart is a high quality synthetic plot of the amounts of the inorganic fraction for 500+ solid biomass fuels. The fuels are belonging to different classes (20+) such as stem woods, barks, straws and grasses, shells and husks, fruits and residues, animal and industrial wastes. Median values for fossil fuels are included for comparison. It is useful to expand your overview on the renewable fuels portfolio.

Request us a high quality PDF suitable for A1 printing, email at defusco.biofact@gmail.com.

Expand the 2020 fuel inventory to available non-conventional biomass fuels

EU USA South America Africa South East Asia China and India
Wheat stalk Juliaflora Sugar cane bagasse (Brazil, Mexico) Elephant grass Rubber wood Sugar cane bagasse
  Soya stalk Juliaflora Juliaflora Sugar cane bagasse (Thailand) Mustard stalk
  Groundnut shell Coffee husk Coffee husk Eucalyptus (Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia) Coconut shell
  Cotton stalk Soya stalk (Brazil, Argentina) Rubber wood Rice husk Soya stalk
  Wheat stalk Acacia wood Acacia wood Coffee husk Groundnut shell
  Mesquite wood Invader bush Coconut shell (Indonesia, Philippines) Cotton stalk
  Shea tree Acacia (Australia) Wheat stalk
  Bamboo (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand) Bamboo

Fuel analyses (available for same samples, upon request) can be used to produce sample specific BIOFACT Fuel Dashboards and simulation Reports of slagging, fouling and corrosion in combustion boilers.

The previous table integrates the IEA Clean Coal Centre summary related to low grade fuels.

Contact us for additional information related to the ash related risks of different fuels for new of existing boilers.

Biomass fired power capacity EU 2019-2020

Europe enters the winter period with more biomass-fired power capacity. In the Netherlands, coal-fired plants are in the commissioning stages of wood pellet co-firing.

  • Engie’s 731MW Rotterdam plant at 10%, Uniper’s 1.1GW Maasvlakte (MPP3) plant at 15% and RWE’s 777MW Eemshaven A and B units at 15%. All are expected to begin commercial co-firing this year
  • RWE’s 630MW Amer 9 plant continues to ramp up to 80% wood pellet co-firing in 2020, having reached 50% this March
  • In the UK, MGT Power’s Teeside 299MW dedicated biomass combined heat and power plant is also due to come online in 2020


In the while, outside Europe, pellet imports in South Korea rose by just 3% on the year to 1.62mn t in the first half of 2019. Japan took 750,000t of wood pellets in the first six months of 2019 — 57% more on the year. Vietnam overtook Canada as the dominant pellet supplier to Japan in the first half of this year, accounting for a 56% share.

Data from Argus Biomass Infographic 2020 markets highlights – Timeline of market movements across Europe, Asia and North America


Facts and figures electricity generation 2020: biomass, the all rounder

“Energy production from biomass is a decisive component of the energy transition. Currently, 185 TWh of electricity is produced from biomass in Europe, which means that biomass accounts for 18.4 % of renewable electricity generation. In Europe, Sweden, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom were the countries with the highest electricity production from biomass in 2017.

Biomass is used as a fuel in thermal power plants or is fermented to produce methane in biogas plants. Biomass power plants meet the same requirements for the stability of the electricity grid as fossil-fired power plants. They are suitable for base-load as well as for the supply of balancing and control power. In addition, it is also possible to convert coal-fired power plants to biomass in order to continue using existing sites. Biogas is usually used in gas engines to generate electricity or can be fed into the natural gas grid. This contributes a considerable storage potential.

Biomass power plants and biogas plants can be used both in centralized and distributed systems. Biomass, as an all-round renewable energy source, is therefore an indispensable component of future energy supply systems.”

Text and picture courtesy of by VGB PowerTech e.V., August 2019. Download