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World’s biggest 100% biomass-fuelled power plant launched in Poland

Poland’s GDF SUEZ inaugurates 205MW Green Unit biomass plant at Polaniec in south-east Poland

The 205MW biomass-fuelled power plant is made up of treefarming and agricultural by-products

The world's largest 100 per cent biomass-fuelled power plant has been launched in Poland. Polish provider GDF SUEZ has inaugurated the 205MW Green Unit biomass plant, which is made up of treefarming and agricultural by-products, at Polaniec in south-east Poland. The company claims it is the world's biggest power plant entirely fuelled by biomass.

Green Unit, which has a capacity of 205MW, is the first of the very large-scale 100 per cent biomass plants to run on a mixture of by-products: 80 per cent from treefarming and 20 per cent from agriculture. GDF SUEZ said it has a very high yield due to the use of state of the art technology for this type of combustion. This includes a circulating fluidised bed boiler, with cutting-edge facilities for combustion gas treatment.

The plant provides the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 600,000 households, and avoids 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. It is part of the GDF SUEZ Energia Polska thermal plant, which has a total capacity of 1,780MW.

Gérard Mestrallet, chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ, said: "The group has major ambitions in Poland. GDF SUEZ, which has operated in the country since 2000 and is the 5th largest energy producer there, is proud to inaugurate the Green Unit, and to demonstrate its considerable array of renewable energies in both wind power and biomass. Poland, thanks to a dynamic economy and sustained growth in energy demand, is a key and promising market for the company."

News of the Green Unit biomass plant follows the world's largest biomass gasification plant being inaugurated in Finland this year. Firm Vaskiluodon Voima Oy launched the 140MW plant in Vaasa in March.

With Green Unit, GDF SUEZ said it has become the leading renewable electricity producer in Poland, with 102MW of capacity in land-based wind power, 205MW in biomass and some capacity in biomass in co-combustion with coal. The company said it aims to put 2,000MW of additional renewable energy capacity into service by 2017.