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


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Technico-economical analysis of additive scenarios for a biomass plant operations optimization

In a recent project, we have further developed a technical-economic framework to analyse the potential opportunity to include mineral additives for the operations optimization of a 13-MWel biomass plant. The plant is processing low quality woody fuels, with slagging and fouling challenges.

Different commercial possibilities are available and additive prices are varying. The techno-economic choice must take into account different variables including, for example, variations on:

  • boiler performance
  • boiler operating hours and/or downtime reduction
  • SHs/heat exchangers lifetime, conventional cleaning programme variation
  • additive dosing and injection equipment (CAPEX and OPEX)
  • additive prices
  • flue gas cleaning impact and adjustment
  • ash disposal costs and ash handling arrangement

As a result of the full techno-economic modelling, additive type selection and break even point related to additive price was computed, for the specific plant.

A snapshot of some of the results is published below: the variation of O&M (fixed and variable) costs for the specific plant (€/year) is evaluated for two specific Ca- and Al-Si based additives (additivation rate 1,0 wt%) with respect to the baseline case (no additive), as a function of the additives price.

The wide range of the computed O&M cost variation is caused by mixing optimistic and pessimistic predictions related to the variables mentioned in the list above. After selecting the additive type, results were further refined reducing the uncertainty on the O&M cost variation prediction for the specific additivation rate.

Do not hesitate to contact us for further discussion!

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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

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Impact of increased power plant cycling on corrosion of SH materials

A new interesting study, FYI at


As power generation from variable renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power continues to increase in the future, fewer baseload power plants will be needed. As a result, high operational flexibility is becoming a vital requirement for conventional power plants to allow for the smooth integration of the variable renewable energy sources (v-RES) into the grid. To understand the impact of high operational flexibility (increased cycling) for coal-fired power plant materials, five commercial coal boiler superheater and reheater materials were investigated under isothermal and cyclic conditions for 1000 h each. The candidate alloys investigated were: T91, VM12-SHC, TP347-HFG, DMV304 HCu and DMV310 N. The results (weight change kinetics and metallographic analysis) after exposure at a metal surface temperature of 650 °C clearly showed the impact of increased flexibility on the corrosion and oxidation of the materials. Oxide growth (weight gain), metal loss, oxide spallation, and grain boundary attack were found to be more severe under cyclic conditions than under isothermal conditions.

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2019 Review of countermeasures to ash issues in bio-waste combustion boilers

The reports provide engineers and project managers with comprehensive intelligence on state of the art combustion technologies to help make successful biomass projects decisions and pick the right technology developments. Reports integrate a comprehensive and up-to-date scientific literature review.

Through providing consolidated return on experience and technical literature insight in critical areas such as slagging, agglomeration, fouling and corrosion, along with hints for the correct analysis on fuel quality, the reports are a major piece in the puzzle for accelerating the scientific development to industry application of innovations and best available technologies.

The reports available for purchase are:

  • Review of technical countermeasures to reduce ash slagging and agglomeration in bio-waste combustion boiler.
  • Review of technical countermeasures to reduce ash fouling in bio-waste combustion boiler.
  • Review of technical countermeasures to reduce ash corrosion in bio-waste combustion boilers.

Request your copy here.



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