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Macedonia Opens First Natural Gas Co-Gen Plant to be Supported by GE, CDM Program

Posted on May 19, 2009

Macedonia Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski formally opened the country’s first natural gas-cogeneration plant certified for international carbon credit financing in the capital city of Skopje. The plant, powered by GE’s Jenbacher gas engines, is Macedonia’s first commercial natural gas-fueled combined heat and power (CHP) project completed within the international “Clean Development Mechanism” (CDM). Established under the Kyoto Protocol, this climate protection program provides global financial support for alternative energy projects that reduce CO2 emissions in developing economies.

The plant’s power will support the operation of local steel factories in the Zelezara Skopje industrial park. By installing GE’s cogeneration technology instead of separate electrical and thermal power equipment, operators receive primary energy savings of roughly 40% through reduced fossil fuel consumption. Also, since CHP systems are located much closer to the end-user, energy transportation losses are also reduced or eliminated.

According to the customer, Skopje’s new CHP plant is expected to earn about 185,000 Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits a year, which corresponds to a projected reduction of the equivalent of 185,000 metric tons of CO2. Selling the carbon credits will help the operator ensure the financial viability of the project. While all the power and the steam gained from the power plant’s waste heat will be used for steel production activities at the site, any excess thermal power during the summer months will be fed into the district heating grid for the city of Skopje.

The Skopje project was developed by Camco International, a UK-based international carbon credit financial services company. The CHP plant was built by Energetski Institut. GE supplied 10 Jenbacher 620 type engines with LEANOX® lean-mixture combustion and engine control systems, as well five steam generators and spare parts. In addition to reducing Macedonia’s dependence on imported energy by increasing local energy efficiency and reliability, the CHP plant will help mitigate the local environmental impacts of energy and steel production. “The Skopje plant has an electrical output of 30.4 MW and 13.6 MW thermal output as hot water and additionally 19.5 t/h of saturated low pressure steam, generating a total of 56.9 MW. Thanks to the combined production of power and heat, the plant’s overall efficiency is 80.5%.

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